Monday, February 1, 2010

Patronage and the Sacred Book in the Medieval Mediterranean

Patronage and the Sacred Book in the Medieval Mediterranean
Organized by Esperanza Alfonso (CSIC) and Jonathan Decter (Brandeis
Brandeis University, October 18-19, 2010

Sacred books (including Jewish Bibles, Christian Bibles, Qur´ans, prayer
books,psalters, haggadot, translations of and commentaries on Scripture, etc.)
were at the center of book production for Jews, Christians and
Muslims throughout
the Middle Ages. This conference will investigate issues in the
patronage, production, circulation and consumption of sacred books in
the Western Mediterranean during the High and Late Middle Ages (roughly
10th-15th Century). In what ways did the demands of patronage nurture,
determine, or constrain areas of intellectual and artistic engagement?
How did patronage in the royal court differ from patronage in other
contexts (the Church, religious orders, the madrasa, the university, the
circles of learned elites, non-institutional settings)? What role did
women play in the patronage, production or circulation of books? The
interest of this conference is twofold: the patronage of sacred texts in
comparative contexts and the role of inter-religious elements in the
production of sacred texts. Topics for papers might include the adoption
of book-making techniques across religious boundaries,
Jewish/Christian/Muslim collaborative translations or art/text
productions, interest in reading, producing, or interpreting the sacred
texts of other religious traditions, or other related questions.

Please send an abstract to Jonathan Decter ( and
Esperanza Alfonso ( by February 15, 2010.

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