Convivencia: Iberian to Global Dynamics, 500-1750

Convivencia: Iberian to Global Dynamics, 500-1750

Abgeschlossene Projekte

Convivencia: Iberian to Global Dynamics, 500-1750’ was a joint project between the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (MPIeR), Frankfurt a. M. (Thomas Duve), the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Institute (Gerhard Wolf), the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (Jürgen Renn), and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale (Günther Schlee). Also participating in this joint project was David Nirenberg of Chicago University, an Associate of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science.

In an interdisciplinary survey of the Iberian world spanning the sixth to the eighteenth century, the Convivencia project investigated cooperative and conflictual interactions and exchanges between different cultural and religious communities in the ambit of Iberian influence. Within this broader framework, the contribution of the Convivencia project group at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History focused on the legal historical research on medieval and early modern situations of convivencia in Europe. Drawing on the Institute’s ongoing research on Ibero-American legal history, special attention was paid to the impact of Iberian experiences on the formation of normative frameworks in the American societies.

Led jointly by Thomas Duve (Director, MPIeR) and Raja Sakrani (Käte Hamburger Kolleg 'Law as Culture', Bonn/Associate researcher, MPIeR), the project group at the Max Planck Institute formed in 2015. The team included two researchers from the MPIeR, Christoph H.F. Meyer and Max Deardorff (who joined the team from the University of Notre Dame), as well as Alfons Aragoneses (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona/Affiliate Researcher MPIeR).

MPIeR’s Convivencia project group contribute to the methodological and theoretical framework of this joint project with legal historical reflections on the multinormative and multicultural dimensions of the late medieval and early modern legal history in the Iberian – and later in the Ibero-American – world. Events and activities directly related to this joint project included formal exchanges at annual workshops as well as informal exchanges between the members of the diverse Max Planck project groups and the Associate of the Max Planck Society, David Nirenberg (Chicago University). The MPIeR also invited research fellows working on related subjects to join the activities of the project group. It sought to actively integrate the insights and findings generated during the course of this joint project into the research field of ‘Legal History in Ibero-America’ and the Institute's own research focus on 'Multinormativity'.

Convivencias Today

The project „Convivencias – Legal Historical Perspectives” aimed not only to analyse examples of “living together” in the Iberian Peninsula from different historiographical angles, but also endeavoured to link insights from this study to issues of our everyday modern lives—stemming from the encounter of conflicting legal cultures under the new conditions of the global age. What kind of historical experiences can prove instructive for our times and possibly be integrated into legal education for the future? This question was the subject of these public talks:

  • Thomas Duve: „Convivencia: Wie gestalten wir unser Zusammenleben? Ein rechtshistorischer Blick auf ein aktuelles Thema“, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg -“Musik und Wissenschaft“ in cooperation with the Max Planck Society, February 20, 2017
  • Raja Sakrani: „Convivencia as a Historical Legal Program“, International Conference : Global Legal Education, NYU Abu Dhabi, January 22, 2017
  • Convivencia : A model for Living Together?" A J-Term Course given at NYU Abu Dhabi in Madrid, January, 2018 [Course Description]


Christoph H.F. Meyer
Nichtchristen in der Geschichte des kanonischen Rechts: Beobachtungen zu Entwicklung und Problemen der Forschung.
Rechtsgeschichte - Legal History Rg 26, S. 139 - 160 (2018)
Christoph H.F. Meyer
Non-Christians in the Normative Culture of the Catholic Church between Antiquity and the Modern Era: A Select Bibliography (June 30, 2020).
Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Research Paper Series No. 2020-15: subsidia et instrumenta
Max Deardorff
The Politics of Devotion: Indigenous Spirituality and the Virgin of Chiquinquirá in the New Kingdom of Granada
Ethnohistory 65:3 (July 2018): 465-488
Max Deardorff
The Ties That Bind: Intermarriage between Moriscos and Old Christians in Early Modern Spain, 1526–1614
Journal of Family History, Article first published online: May 24, 2017
Alfons Aragoneses
Convivencia and Filosefardismo in Spanish Nation-building
Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Research Paper Series No. 2016-05
Raja Sakrani
Convivencia: Reflections About its 'Kulturbedeutung' and Rereading the Normative Histories of Living Together
Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Research Paper Series No. 2016-02


Max Deardorff
“Indígenas urbanos y la cuestión de vecindad en el Nuevo Reino de Granada, siglos XVI y XVII”
Seminario Permanente
Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt, June 4, 2018


Max Deardorff
“Of Mestizos and Moriscos: Conflict and Resolution in an Expanding Christian Republic, 1566-1614,”
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá (Colombia), February 16, 2018

Max Deardorff
“Mestizos, Moriscos, and the 16th-Century Dialogue around Christian Subjecthood in the Spanish Empire,”
American Historical Association, 132nd annual meeting, Washington D.C., January 7, 2018.

Max Deardorff
"The Emergence of Mestizo and Morisco as Legal Categories: Law, Custom, and the Spanish ‘Christian Republic,’ 1526-1614,"
Research Seminar on Early Modern History, Ludwig-Maximiliens Universität, Munich (Germany), July 10, 2017

Max Deardorff
“Moriscos, Indios and the Question of ‘Custom’ in Sixteenth-Century Castilian Legislation,”
Convivencia: Iberian to Global Dynamics (500-1750), Lisbon (Portugal), June 26-27, 2017

Max Deardorff
“Citizens of the Republic of Tunja: African, Mulatto, and Indian Vecinos in Early New Kingdom of Granada,”
Conference on Latin American History, Denver, January 5-8, 2017

Raja Sakrani
“Some Elements of Visualising Myth and Realities of Convivencia. From Al-Andalus until Today", International Meeting on Law and Society "Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World”
Mexico City, Juli 20-23, 2017

Raja Sakrani
“Rituals and cults in the dynamic of Convivencias”: some theoretical reflections with empirical examples.
Frankfurt, MPIeR - Workshop Convivencias Today. Reflections on a Historical Concept, February 3, 2017

Max Deardorff
“Contact Zones:” A Useful Frame for the Study of Multinormativity in the Iberian World?”
Practical and Pragmatic Literature in Legal and Science History,
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science: Berlin (Germany), November 30, 2016

Max Deardorff
“Cristianos nuevos, moriscos y cristianos viejos de moros: Categorías de diferenciación en el Reino de Granada (siglo XVI)”
Segundo Encuentro Peruano-Alemán: Derecho y Diversidad Cultural
Lima, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, October 13-14, 2016

Max Deardorff
“Conversión, genealogía e hijos legítimos: decisiones de la Audiencia de Santa Fe sobre autoridad indígena, 1570-1600”
XIX Congreso del Instituto Internacional de Historia del Derecho Indiano
Berlin, Harnack Haus, August 29 - September 2, 2016

Raja Sakrani
“The Aesthetics of ‘Convivencia’. Visualizing a mode of living together in Al-Andalus”
West of Everything: New Media, Visual Culture and Law
New York, Cardozo Law School, August 28-29, 2016

Alfons Aragoneses
“Sefarad en els discursos jurídics i polítics de l’Espanya contemporània”
Cicle de Seminaris d’Història del Dret i de les Institucions
Barcelona, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, May 26, 2016

Max Deardorff
The Tightening Vise of Christian Citizenship: Converts from Islam and the Law in Sixteenth Century Granada
Bonn, Käte Hamburger Kolleg "Recht als Kultur", January 19, 2016

Alfons Aragoneses
Sefarad within Spanish contemporary history. A legal perspective.
Bonn, Käte Hamburger Kolleg "Recht als Kultur", December 1, 2015

Raja Sakrani
The Three Cultures. Living together in Al-Andalus
Bonn, Käte Hamburger Kolleg "Recht als Kultur", November 24, 2015


The results of this project have been published in the focus “Convivencias” in the current issue of “Rechtsgeschichte – Legal History 26/2018


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