Ana T. Valdez, University of Lisbon/University of Massachusetts Lowell –
Ricardo Muñoz, University of Salamanca –


That the Iberian Peninsula represents a fundamental hub between Christianity, Judaism and Islam is common knowledge. However, theologians and historians have been studying these phenomena as isolated events and not as part of a much larger Iberian world characteristic, one that should be understood in terms of the broader Western thought.
This session’s goal, though experimental, is to provide a space of discussion for those of us who work with biblical themes in the context of the Iberian world, including not only the peninsular space, but also its colonial spaces, e.g., American, African and Asian places where Portuguese and Spaniards played an influential role starting in the Early Modern period. Moreover, the subjects to discuss are not limited nor to a particular time frame nor to a specific chronological period for this first phase.
Our initial objectives are to underline the importance of the Iberian world as a space of communication, or not, between the different religions of the Bible, of biblical interpretation, and how the Iberian world was prone to be influenced by the Bible.

Call for Papers — 2015 Cordoba

Cordoba, the next city to host the Annual Meeting of the European Association of Biblical Studies, represents par excellence the history of religious co-existence. Over the centuries, the city, similarly to what happened in the broader Iberian world, was a space where inter-religious exchanges between Christians, Muslims, and Jews were possible. These people, albeit the natural religious differences, shared the same space, and similar imageries and expectations. Therefore, this year, this group wants to explore some of the different perspectives regarding religious encounters and moments/episodes of confrontation within the Iberian World. We are particularly interested in papers that explore the manuscript transmission of religious ideas and beliefs and its literary tradition, and the material and intellectual legacy of the different religious groups that led to determining Iberian politics and historical events. Although we are open to all papers regarding religion in the Iberian World, we would particularly invite you to submit to the following units:

  • Iberian Religious Manuscripts: production, reception, and transmission

The production of manuscripts of religious nature is a very important characteristic of Christian, Muslim and Jews tradition, playing a decisive role in the definition of each groups’ canon. This session aims to discuss the canonical and heterodox facets of the religious literature produced within the Iberian world, and to analyze, the circulation and reception in different environments of the produced manuscripts. Papers exploring the production, reception, and transmission of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish religious texts (bibles, religious literature, Kabbalah, liturgy books, religious instructions, hagiography, iconography, exegesis, etc.) within the Iberian world are welcomed.

  •  Cultural and Intellectual legacy of Iberian Religious Minorities

This session focuses on the “legacies” of religious minorities found in the Iberian Peninsula, and how they transformed themselves, and were transformed, when later dispersed into the Mediterranean and the Atlantic during Iberian early modern Expansion. Papers should explore the cultural and intellectual production resulting from interreligious contacts and found still today in, for example, archaeology, literature, philosophy, medicine, philology, music, and popular culture. Furthermore, we welcome papers underlining the acculturation processes between Christian, Muslim (mozarabes, mudéjar and moriscos), and Jewish (conversos and New Christians).

  • The Bible as the Explanation Behind Iberian Imperialism and Expansion

This is a joint session with SBL’s groups Bible and its Influence: History and Impact and Bible and Empire. As the title suggests, our aim is to analyze the reasoning based on biblical texts and the pope’s authority used by Portuguese and Spanish to justify their overseas enterprise, and in particular, their colonization of new territories. In the Cordoba meeting, we welcome papers that explore the biblical arguments used by both parties (crusade, Treaty of Tordesillas and mare clausum, evangelization and reaching of a universal religion that would allow the end of the world to take place, etc.) to justify their overseas presence, conquest, and colonization.


PublicationsBrill_IRW1_SPINE = 32mm



The work of this group has lead to the creation of a new peer-reviewed series published by Brill — The Iberian Religious World. The first book, by Alisa Mehuyas Ginio, Between Sepharad and Jerusalem is in print, and further information can be found here.


Past Meetings

Vienna 2014

For the 2014 meeting in Vienna, we are particularly interested in papers that explore the following topics: 1) biblical translation, 2) Inquisition and its influence in the production of commentaries in the Iberian world – reaction and counter-reaction movements, and 3) Eschatological hope and its influence on the development of Iberian exegesis.

Leipzig 2013

For 2013 we are seeking for papers exploring the encounter between Iberians and overseas’ peoples. Under the theme “From Iberian to the World” the papers should analyze the influence of such encounters and how those encounters have influenced biblical exegesis and religious debate within the Iberian world. Possible themes are: visions of the newly found worlds and apocalyptic expectation, Sephardi Diaspora, religious co-existence and Inquisition, and the impact of Catholic missionaries.