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Unit information: Christianity and Islam in Early Modern Europe (Level I Lecture Response) in 2018/19

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Unit name Christianity and Islam in Early Modern Europe (Level I Lecture Response)
Unit code HIST25015
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Cervantes
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


Christianity and Islam lived side by side across the Mediterranean since the seventh century. Traditional scholarship has tended to treat them as two separate worlds, but collaborative interaction between Christians and Muslims (in conjunction with Jews) has long been acknowledged, particularly in Spain. Yet, the general impression of tolerance and peaceful coexistence in the middle ages gradually giving way to conflict and intolerance in the early modern period is exaggerated and misleading. There is in fact plenty of evidence of both medieval intolerance and early modern tolerance. This unit aims to encourage a more critical approach to the subtle interaction between these two essentially religious cultures, thereby helping to shed new light into the medieval and early modern worlds while also serving to clarify aspects of the current situation.


  • To provide a broad grounding in the history of the interaction of Christianity and Islam in medieval and early modern Europe
  • To provide particular perspectives on that history from the tutor to which students can react critically and build their own individual views and interpretations.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. ability to derive benefit from and contribute effectively to large group discussion
  2. the ability to analyse and generalise about issues of continuity and change
  3. deeper awareness of how to approach a long term historical analysis
  4. wider historical knowledge of the history of the interaction of Christianity and Islam in medieval and early modern Europe
  5. ability to set individual issues within their longer term historical context
  6. ability to select pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate more general historical points
  7. ability to identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically and form an individual viewpoint

Teaching details

1 x two-hour interactive lecture
1 x one-hour workshop

Assessment Details

1 x 3000 word essay (50%) and 1 x 2 hour exam (50%) Both assessments assess ILOs 1-7.

Reading and References

  • F. Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (1973).
  • Richard Fletcher, The Cross and the Crescent: Christianity and Islam from Muhammad to the Reformation (2003).
  • Daniel Goffman, The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe (2002).
  • L. P. Harvey, Islamic Spain 1250-1500 (1990).
  • R. W. Southern, Western Perceptions of Islam in the Middle Ages (1962).
  • John V. Tolan, Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination (2002).