This book explores shared religious practices among Jews, Christians, and Muslims, focusing primarily on the medieval Mediterranean. It examines the meanings members of each community ascribed to the presence of the religious other at "their" festivals or holy sites during pilgrimage. Communal boundaries were often redefined or dissolved during pilgrimage and religious festivals. Yet, paradoxically, shared practices served to enforce communal boundaries, since many of the religious elite devised polemical interpretations of these phenomena which highlighted the superiority of their own faith. Such interpretations became integral to each group’s theological understanding of self and other to such a degree that in some regions, religious minorities were required to participate in the festivals of the ruling community. In all formulations, “otherness” remained an essential component of both polemic and prayer.
Chapter 1. Holy Spaces and Holy Corpses: Defining sanctity and veneration of the dead from late antiquity to the Middle Ages.
Chapter 2. The Other as Witness to the Truth: Positive Responses to Shared Religious Veneration among Jewish and Christian Pilgrims to the Middle East from Western Europe
Chapter 3. Forceful Saints and Compelling Rituals: Real and Imagined Jewish and Muslim Participation in Christian Rituals and Saint Cults in Western Europe
Chapter 4. Praising, Cursing or Ignoring the Other: Jews, Christians, and Muslims at One Another’s Holy Spaces in the Islamicate World
Chapter 5. Opposition to Shared Saints and Festivals in the Islamicate World
Chapter 6. Upholding the Dignity of the Faith and Separating Believers and Unbelievers in Medieval Christian Societies
Chapter 7. From Practice to Polemic: Shared Saints and Festivals as ‘Women’s Religion’ in the Medieval Mediterranean
Chapter 8. Tales of Saintly Encounters