Thursday, September 20, 2007


I am a student at the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA. This semester I am taking a class called, Andalusia: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, taught by Dr. Ibrahim Farajajé. Part of our course work is keep a blog throughout the semester to reflect on the readings and discussions we are having.

To begin, here are some excerpts from our course description.

"This course invites us to a thorough, profound, and exciting interrogation of the ways in which we have traditionally approached the study of the interconnections and intersections between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The broad container for doing this will be through looking at the patterns and practices of co-existence in al-Andalus, from the early 8th century until the end of the 15th century...
To put it more simply, we tend to think of the world as being divided into discrete groups which are neatly separated by borders. Of course, the notions of porosity of borders and transnational identities and fluidities come more and more into our consciousness, but when we think of the past, we think of some areas of the world and their populations as being pretty static. For example, that there were transcontinental movements of peoples from the east of Africa to the west of Africa, or from the east of Muslim territories to the west is not something that is usually emphasised in contemporary studies of the histories of religions...
This course invites us to enter a space where ways of being that were based on living-in-the-differences grew creatively. How do food, music, spiritual practice, sacred space/architecture, environmental sciences, gender, class, sexualities,embodiment/disabilities, language, notion of community express the intersectional cultures that grew out of la convivencia, the coexistence of these religions? Come, enter into the space that was al-Andalus !"

As this semester progresses, I will be posting with reflections on the weeks topic. I hope any of you readers out there feeling welcome to respond, ask questions, complexify what I have to say.