The Long Ninth Century: Christian Reactions to Islamization and Islamication in Palestine and Al-Andalus

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Abstract

Christian communities in Palestine and Al-Andalus faced similar challenges during the ninth century. Although Muslim authorities tolerated Christianity and enshrined a certain degree of religious freedom, they downgraded these communities and encouraged conversion to Islam. In the long span, Christian communities decreased because many of their leading members emigrated or converted. Moreover, many of those that remained adopted the Arabic language, dressed like Muslims, and became increasingly assimilated into the ruling elite Muslim culture. This article suggests that the contacts and reciprocal influence between Christian communities from Palestine and Spain during this period were more substantial than hitherto perceived. Thus, they used the same methods with some local adaptations to tackle their critical situation. They introduced a growing use of Arabic in religious life, established and upgraded important pilgrimage shrines, and some extremist monastic communities fostered and encouraged martyrdom.

Original languageEnglish
Article number667
JournalReligions
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the author.

Keywords

  • Arabization
  • Islamication
  • Islamization
  • conversion
  • martyrdom
  • pilgrimage

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