From 711-1492 in Medieval Spain, all Muslims, Jews and Christians lived side by side in harmony and peace while making great advancements in architecture, arts, literature, science and philosophy. Hundreds of years before the European Enlightenment and Renaissance, La Convivencia was a period of time where diverse citizenry took seriously the notion of human rights, and social justice to their mutual benefit. The legacy of La Convivencia, ensuring stable communities mutually bound by co-existence in harmony, peace, and understanding…still evades us today.
La Convivencia refers to the coexistence of many religions during Muslim rule in medieval Spain between 711-1492. It was an 800 year period when Muslims, Jews and Christians lived side-by-side in peaceful and harmonious community while collectively making significant advancements in art, architecture, literature and science. Those advancements created a foundation for the Renaissance and Enlightenment of Europe. The diverse architecture of Cordoba, Granada and Seville speak powerfully to this time of peaceful coexistence and rise of multiculturalism. It should be noted that this period of peaceful co-existence was preceded by a period of Visigoth anti-Semitism and proceeded by a rise in nationalism that promoted anti-Muslim sentiment. However, La Convivencia was indeed a unique and real period of time in medieval Spain and an idea that can be built upon in post-modern 21st century America. La Convivencia vigorously suggests that we can do a better job today in emphasizing the values of acceptance and respect across all faiths. It is this unique story of coexistence, not just pluralistic convergence, which we need to explore to more fully express our shared values of acceptance, respect, and desire for a peaceful culture. If the proverb “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” rings true, then it is prudent for us to take a lesson from the history of La Convivencia and let that lesson inspire us to be peaceful ambassadors of its message of acceptance for all. Reference: http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/the-convivencia-july-2013
Please follow the link to have a glimpse of Medieval Islamic Spain (711-1492). A research project done by Bilal Sultan. http://8147712.weebly.com/