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Grant number: FA-58323-15

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Brian A. Catlos
University of Colorado, Boulder (Boulder, CO 80302-7046)

Ethnic and Religious Diversity in the Medieval Mediterranean and Beyond

"Paradoxes of Plurality" is an original model for understanding the intersection of ethno-religious identity and culture and communal politics in the pre-Modern Mediterranean (e.g.: Christianity, Islam and Judaism)--a subject paralyzed by the opposition of deeply entrenched historiographical interpretations and the tendency for scholars to either discount religious identity or over-privilege it. I begin by sketching a Mediterranean culture that bridged confessional divisions in a region where most polities included significant out-groups. Next, I analyze the dynamics of minority-majority interaction. Finally, I propose that both interaction and the expression of identity operated on three distinct levels, the interplay of which contributed to specific outcomes and policies. By treating ethno-religious identity as a complex phenomenon this model will help to disentangle political, cultural and social interaction not only in the Medieval Mediterranean but in other times and places.

Project fields:
Medieval History; Medieval Studies; Western Civilization

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2015 – 7/31/2016