'A brilliant narrative history of the rise and fall of Muslim Spain... a balanced, lucid, and myth-breaking account of a unique society that has too often been demonised, romanticised or simplified.' -- Matt Carr `A lively ... account of medieval Spain and Portugal which steers away from the usual stereotypes and gives us a new, and much more nuanced account of relations and interactions between the various communities and faith groups in the peninsula.' -- Hugh Kennedy, Professor of Arabic and author of 'Caliphate: The History of an Idea' `In Kingdoms of Faith, Brian A. Catlos takes us through the kaleidoscopic interplay of Muslim-Christian relations, bringing clarity to a complex narrative. His deft analysis illuminates the forces brought to bear in creating both the myth and reality of life in "Moorish" Spain.' -- Thomas F. Glick, Emeritus Professor of History and author of 'Islamic and Christian Spain in the Early Middle Ages' `Spirited, probing and original, this is a key history of Muslim Spain. It's unique perspective illuminates the vexed issue of religious, political and cultural interaction between Christians, Jews and Muslims, underlining the complexity and ambiguity of medieval Spain and revealing its vital importance to the history of modern Europe too.' -- Elizabeth Drayson, author of 'The Moor's Last Stand: How Seven Centuries of Muslim Rule in Spain Came to an End' `Mediterranean studies have been shaped in an informative and innovative way by Brian Catlos's contributions in the recent decades. His incursion now into the history of a specific region and polity - that of al-Andalus (Medieval Iberia under Muslim rule) - brings to the fore the same qualities that characterize his previous work: an inquisitive and incisive mind that homes in on perceptive questions, combined with the ability to recreate past events in an appealing manner for a wide audience.' -- Maribel Fierro, Research Professor `'Kingdoms of Faith' constitutes a fresh and original contribution to the history of al-Andalus, rooted in the author's profound knowledge of medieval Iberian history. Brian Catlos has managed to produce a very well-written and lively narrative that provides an up-to-date synthesis of the most recent developments in this field of history.' -- Alejandro Garcia Sanjuan
Prior accounts have portrayed Islamic Spain either as a paradise of enlightened tolerance, or as the site where civilisations clashed. Award-winning historian Brian A. Catlos taps a wide array of original sources to paint a more complex picture, showing how Muslims, Christians, and Jews together built a sophisticated civilisation that transformed the Western world, even as they waged relentless war against each other and amongst themselves. Religion was often the language of conflict, but seldom its cause-a lesson we would do well to learn in our own time.
Kingdoms of Faith rewrites Spain's Islamic past from the ground up, evoking the cultural splendour of al-Andalus and the many forces that shaped it.