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How are religious and non-religious knowledge linked to social and political processes such as those of inclusion and exclusion, and the legitimization of those in command? How does knowledge contribute to the formation of a political culture?
In the Western Mediterranean there were two specific moments when the political projects of rulers were closely intertwined with ambitious cultural programmes: the Almohad caliphate (12th-13th centuries) and the reign of Alphonso X the Wise (r. 1252-1284). It does not seem possible to study separately these two episodes of ‘political and cultural revolution’, in the same way that it has been for long accepted the intimate relationship between the Fatimid caliphate and the reign of the emperor Frederic II (1220-1250).
The study of such a relations is one of the issues analyzed in a research project that has lasted for five years (2009-2014).
Through this period a number of seminars and conferences have been organized, generally in collaboration with related projects, in which different aspects dealing with knowledge, heresy and political culture have been dealt with (see Activities).
The results are:
1. A data basis on the intellectual production of the Islamic West (al-Andalus and North Africa – Egypt excepted) with bio-bibliographical information on authors and works (manuscripts, editions, translations and studies). The part on al-Andalus (HATA) is open for free consultation (see HATA). The part on North Africa and Sicily (HATOI) can be consulted at this stage through a KOHEPOCU contact (see HATOI).
2. A monograph by Maribel Fierro in which the links between knowledge, religion and politics in the Islamic West are analyzed.