I would argue that “Mediterranean religion” is a functional category for a host of reasons. The common Abrahamic root of the three main faiths in medieval Mediterranean society is obvious. When compared to other bodies of water in Eurasia, such as the Indian Ocean, or even the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean is not as diverse as it is often portrayed. In few other Eurasian seas has one category of faith (Abrahamic monotheism) dominated for so many centuries. Here, however, I focus on how the category of Mediterranean religion also emerged through the conflict and interaction between Jews, Muslims, and Christians. In particular, I focus on what I call the economics of spiritual exchange. To show what I mean, I center on the Renaissance of the twelfth century, a period of highly active spiritual exchange and comparison, a period also defined...
The Economics of Ascetic Encounter
allen fromherz is professor of medieval Mediterranean and Middle East history at Georgia State University and president of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies. His most recent book is The Near West: Medieval North Africa, Latin Europe, and the Mediterranean in the Second Axial Age (2016).
Allen Fromherz; The Economics of Ascetic Encounter. English Language Notes 1 April 2018; 56 (1): 269–271. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00138282-4337653
Download citation file: