By Christopher Lowney
In 711, a ragtag military of Muslim North Africans conquered Christian Spain and introduced Western Europe's first Islamic nation. In 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella vanquished Spain's final Muslim country, compelled Jews to transform or to migrate, and dispatched Christopher Columbus to the recent global. within the years among, Spain's Muslims, Christians, and Jews cast a golden age for every religion and distanced Spain from a Europe mired at the hours of darkness Ages.
Medieval Spain's pioneering suggestions touched each size of Western existence: Spaniards brought Europeans to paper manufacture and to the Hindu-Arabic numerals that supplanted the Roman numeral approach. Spain's farmers followed irrigation expertise from the close to East to nurture Europe's first plants of citrus and cotton. Spain's spiritual students authored works that also profoundly impact their respective faiths, from the masterpiece of the Jewish kabbalah to the meditations of Sufism's "greatest grasp" to the eloquent arguments of Maimonides that people can effectively marry spiritual religion and reasoned philosophical inquiry. No much less incredible than medieval Spain's wide-ranging accomplishments used to be the easy truth its Muslims, Christians, and Jews usually controlled to dwell and paintings aspect by means of aspect, bestowing tolerance and freedom of worship at the non secular minorities of their midst.
A Vanished World chronicles this impossibly panoramic sweep of human heritage and success, encompassing either the pain of jihad, Crusades, and Inquisition, and the dignity of a multicultural civilization that eternally replaced the West. One gnarled root of modern day non secular animosities stretches again to medieval Spain, yet so does a extra nourishing root of a lot glossy non secular wisdom.
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A Vanished World: Medieval Spain's Golden Age of Enlightenment by Christopher Lowney