Raja Sakrani (Bonn): The Three Cultures. Living together in Al-Andalus


My goal is to get to the real history of the myth of Convivencia between Muslims, Christians and Jews in Spain under Islamic rule, lived side by side, face to face, together or separately. It is conceived as a cohabitation that has to a large extent been underestimated, demonized or mystified – in order to shift the representations of the Other and to return history its dynamism. In other words, approaching this field of research from an Arabo-Islamic perspective by necessity means – and this is my choice – writing the history of Convivencia in its polyphony, that is to open up the Islamic perspective and to subject it to the confrontation and complementarity of Jewish and Christian perspectives. History thus becomes the histories of Convivencia. My proposition is one that seeks to go beyond epistemological suspicions regarding the terminology and concept of a universally quoted Convivencia: it is neither philological nor historiographic. It refers to the normative, in a wide sense, in that it does not content itself with legal or theological texts, on the one hand, and in that it attempts to decode the non-juridical normativities, on the other.

This presentation is part of the wider project: “Convivencia. Iberian to Global Dynamics, 500-1750” of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (Frankfurt a. M.) in cooperation with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Institute, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin), and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle/Saale).

Curriculum vitae

Die Juristin und Kulturwissenschaftlerin Dr. jur. Raja Sakrani ist Wissenschaftliche Koordinatorin am Käte Hamburger Kolleg „Recht als Kultur“ und Co-Direktorin der Projektgruppe “Convivencia: Iberian to Global Dynamics, 500-1750” am Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte in Frankfurt. Ihre Forschungsinteressen umfassen insbesondere das Recht der Anderen, den Einfluss islamischer Rechtskulturen auf die europäische Rechtsgeschichte, die begriffliche und theoretische Analyse von „Recht” und „Normativität” für die Zwecke vergleichender Forschung und die Entwicklung eines vertieften Verständnisses islamischer Rechtskulturen, das von den Analysemöglichkeiten kulturwissenschaftlicher Rechtsforschung profitiert. Sie hatte Fellowships sowie Lehr- und Forschungsstellen in Paris, Basel und Bonn inne.