Book Series Religion and Law in Medieval Christian and Muslim Societies, vol. 11

Canon Law and Christian Societies Between Christianity and Islam

An Arabic Canon Collection From al-Andalus and its Transcultural Contexts

Matthias Maser, Jesús Lorenzo Jiménez, Geoffrey K. Martin (eds)

  • Pages: approx. 445 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:2 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2024

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60726-9
  • Paperback
  • Forthcoming (Aug/24)


The focus of this collected volume is the Arabic canon collection which is uniquely preserved in the mid-eleventh-century manuscript, Escorial árabe 1623.


Matthias Maser is Lecturer for Medieval History at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg; his research interests center, among other issues, on 'Mozarabic' Christians on the medieval Iberian Peninsula. Geoffrey Martin is an independent scholar who has published on the manuscript culture of Arabic-speaking Christians in Iberia. Jesús Lorenzo Jimenez is senior lecturer for Medieval History at the University of the Basque Country. In his research, he focusses on frontier societies as reflected in their textual and archeological remnants.


The unique Arabic version of the Iberian canon law code 'Collectio Hispana', preserved in a mid-eleventh-century manuscript of the Royal Library of El Escorial, has been deemed “the most distinguished and characteristic” work of medieval Andalusi Christian writing. It represents an exceptional source witness to the internal legal organisation of Christian communities in Muslim-dominated al-Andalus as well as to their acculturation to Islamicate environments. Yet, the Arabic church law collection has received only little scholarly attention so far. The present volume presents the results of a recent interdisciplinary research project on the Arabic canon law manuscript, flanked by contributions from neigbouring fields of research that allow for a comparative assessment of the substantial new findings. The individual chapters in this volume address issues such as the origins of the Arabic law code and its sole transmitting manuscript, its language and translation strategies, its source value for both the persistence and transformation of ecclesiastical institutions after the Muslim conquest, or the law code's position in the judicial practice of al-Andalus. The volume brings together the scholarly expertise of distinguished experts in a broad range of disiplines, e.g. history, Arabic and Latin philology, medieval palaeography and codicology, Islamic art history, Coptology, theology and history of law.


I. Introductory Essays
Jesús LORENZO JIMÉNEZ, Geoffrey K. MARTIN, and Matthias MASER: “Introduction: Canon Law and Christian Societies, Between Christianity and Islam. The Arabic Canon Collection From al-Andalus and its Transcultural Contexts”
Matthias MASER: “Whens and Whereabouts—Old and New Lights on the Genesis of al-Qānūn al-Muqaddas (El Escorial, ms. árabe 1623)”

II. The CCAEA’s Interrelations With Other Variants of the Latin Hispana Collection
Pieter S. Van Koningsveld (†): “The Date of al-Qānūn al-Muqaddas: The Lisbon Fragments and the Islamic Sources”
Matthias M. TISCHLER: “Carolingian Canon Law Collections in Early Medieval Catalonia. Complementing or Replacing the Hispano-Visigothic Legal Tradition?”
Cornelia SCHERER: “Looking Over the Editor’s Shoulder. Strategies and Processes Applied to the Systematic Arrangement of the Collectio Hispana”
Matthias MASER: “Papal Decretals in the Arabic Canon Law Collection from al-Andalus. Patterns of Selection, Arrangement, and Indexing”

III. Language and Lexis of Christian-Arabic (Canon) Law
Juan Pedro MONFERRER-SALA: “Notes on the Lexicon of the Tenth Book of al-Qānūn al-Muqaddas (Mid-11th Century CE)”
Ariana D’OTTONE and Matthijs WIBIER: “Visigothic Law and Canon Law in al-Andalus: Reconsidering the Leiden Glossary and the Vocabulista in Arabico”

IV. Judicial Systems and Court Procedures From a Transcultural Perspective
Lev WEITZ: “Canon Law and Qāḍī Court Documents in Medieval Egypt”
Francisco CINTRON MATTEI: “Insights Into the Judicial Organization and Social Authority of an Ecclesiastical Judiciary in al-Andalus”
Delfina SERANO-RUANO: “Legal Interactions Between Christians and Muslims in al-Andalus According to the Collection of Legal Cases by Ibn Sahl (d. 486/1093)”

V. Persistence and Transformations of Ecclesiastical Structures in al-Andalus
Jesús LORENZO JIMÉNEZ: “When God Does Not Rule the City of God. Bishops and Episcopal Sees in al-Andalus”
Ana ECHEVARRÍA ARSUAGA: “The Survival of Female Monasticism in al-Andalus”
María de los Ángeles UTRERO AGUDO: “Archaeology on the Construction and Connections of the So-Called Mozarabic Churches”

VI. Orthodoxy, Discipline, and Law in ‘Mozarabic’ Societies
Geoffrey K. MARTIN: “Translation and Theology in the Arabic Version of Pope Leo I’s Letter against Priscillian”
María Magdalena MARTÍNEZ ALMIRA: “The Marriage of Cordovan Mozarabs in al-Qānūn al-Muqaddas”

VII. Conclusions
Thomas BURMAN: “Conclusion”