Cultures and Religions: Muslims, Jews, Christians in Southern Europe

ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Cultures and Religions: Muslims, Jews, Christians in Southern Europe

    Course Closed
  • Host University

    ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    International Studies, Religion, Spanish Culture

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Prerequisite: open to all language levels; taught in English.

    Students: foreign students from the academic program ISA

    Contact hours: 45

    Course Objective: This course will analyze the period of coexistence among the three religions and how this situation was crucial in the creation not only of the Medieval Kingdoms but also of the modern nation of Spain. Historic, artistic, politic, economic, religious, musical and even gastronomical parameters will be used for a better understanding of Al-Andalus from both a theoretical and daily life perspective. The course will also focus on the present situation to comprehend the multicultural complexity of Al-Andalus society.

    Learning outcomes:

    - Be familiar with the diverse cultures that had an impact on the culture and history of the Iberian Peninsula

    - Analyze the reasons for the fall of the Visigoths

    - Study the characteristics of the three cultures and their common points.

    - Learn the values behind the interaction among the three cultures.

    - Identify the artistic creations of that time

    - Relate the heritage of Al-Andalus in the Peninsula to another physical space and another time.

    Course Materials: Students will be required to purchase a course pack worth 14€



    - Geographic locations in Spain

    - Brief introduction of the native people and colonizers


    - The barbarians

    - Politics in the Visigothic Hispania

    - Church and Visigothic culture

    - Visigothic heritage


    - Muslim’s arrival and Christian reaction

    - Umayyad dynasty in the Peninsula

    - Hispanic-Christian resistance

    - The end of the Umayyad Caliphate

    - Taifa kingdoms

    - Invasions from the north of Africa: Almoravids, Almohads and Marinids

    - Granada kingdom


    Guided tour of the Moroccan Pavilion at Expo’92. (pending confirmation)


    - Jews and Christians in Al-Andalus

    - The “Monarch of the three religions”. Jews and Muslims in the Christian Kingdoms.

    - Mozarabs. Moriscos. Sephardits.

    - Conversos and false conversos.

    - Pilgrimage. The case of Saint James way.

    - The role of the Spanish Inquisition


    Guided field trip around the Barrio de Santa Cruz, Seville’s Jewish Quarter.


    - Administration:

    o Political institutions

    o Tax system

    o Justice

    - Economy and society:

    o Coexistence between Muslims and taxpayers

    o Urban vs. rural life

    o Agricultural economy

    o Trade

    - Daily life interactions:

    o Family

    o Leisure time

    o Hammam

    o Health

    - Artistic and intellectual sphere:

    o Arquitecture

    o Craftwork

    o Education system

    o Prose and poetry

    o Dance and Music


    - Sephardic communities. Past and present situation

    - Muslims who left the Peninsula.

    - Outgoing influences. Influences of Al-Andalus outside of Al-Andalus.


    - The “Reconquista”: myth and reality

    - The role of Judaism and Islamism in the formation of the Spanish civilization.

    - Socio-economic consequences of the expulsion from the Peninsula.

    - The three religions and the State today.

    - Relations between Spain and the Jews.

    - Spain, a bridge between Muslims and Europe. From the immigration to the Alianza of Civilizaciones.

    Course Evaluation:

    20% Tasks and attendance 40% Final exam 30% Projects 10% Subjective evaluation (students are expected to come prepared to class and profesor will value that students are showing a mark of improvement)

    Spanish Grading Scale:

    Matrícula de Honor 10 Sobresaliente 9 – 9,9 Notable 7 – 8,9 Aprobado 5 – 6,9 Suspenso 0 – 4,9 No Asistencia (Student has exceeded the allowed number of unexcused absences)

    Please find as a reference the following grading scale conversion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student’s home university or institution to determine the final grade equivalencies.

    Matrícula de Honor = A+ Suspenso = F Sobresaliente = A No presentado = Incomplete (attended Notable = B classes but did not take final exam) Aprobado =C No Asistencia = Incomplete (enrolled in the course but did not attend class)

    Class Attendance: class attendance is obligatory, it is checked every class day and it is reflected in the course attendance sheet that is sent to the University.

    An 85% of attendance is required for the successful completion of the course. Not missing any class will be considered positively.

    If a student exceeds this limit, the grade in the transcript for this subject could appear as “not attended course”.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations