Kingdoms of Faith : A History of Islamic Spain

Kingdoms of Faith – Previous accounts have depicted Islamic Spain in a variety of ways, either as a place of light-hearted tolerance or as the place where civilizations clashed. The award-winning scholar Brian

A. Catlos taps many different original sources to create an even more complicated image of the ways Muslims, Christians, and Jews together created a sophisticated civilization that changed the Western world and fought an unending war against one another and against each other. Religion was frequently the primary language of war, but rarely the cause. This is a lesson we’d benefit from learning today.

Kingdoms of Faith rewrites Spain’s Islamic history from the ground from the ground, bringing to life the cultural beauty from al-Andalus and the numerous forces that shaped the region.

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ingdoms of Faith – “An extensive narrative of al-Andalus . . . A warning to remember that Islam is in Europe is carved on a rock — mortar and marble — and cannot be chipped away.” Financial Times

“Catlos has created a significant new synthesizer . . . an engaging, colorful and heartfelt account of the period that deserves to be known more.’ — History Today

The goal that is the goal of Brian Catlos in this excellent new book is to offer not just an up-to-date historical perspective, but also one that resists the narrative tug-of-war between left and right. . . . He has created a tight synopsis of the most recent research to create a new account of one millennium of the past.” Times Literary Supplement

“A vibrant, engaging and entertaining historical.” -Library Journal. Library Journal
A richly multi-layered tapestry . . . Catlos is a master at telling the story.” Asian Review of Books

A sweeping account of lost potentials that are now deeply relevant to the current aspirations of Europe. I wish this incredibly and powerful book all the best.” David Levering Lewis, author of God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe from 570-1215.

“Spirited and probing, and unique it is a crucial historical account of Muslim Spain. Its unique viewpoint provides a fresh look at the complex question of the political, religious and cultural exchange with Christians, Jews and Muslims and reveals its crucial importance to the story of contemporary Europe.” Elizabeth Drayson, University of Cambridge and author of The Moor’s Last Stand

A lively account of the medieval period in Spain and Portugal that steers clear of the typical stereotypes to provide an enlightened view of interactions and relationships between faith communities and communities.” — Hugh Kennedy, Professor of Arabic, SOAS, University of London and the author of The Caliphate

“A fantastic story of the fall and rise of Muslim Spain. This well-balanced, clear and often awe-inspiring report sheds light on the special society that has often been portrayed as a villain, romanticized or reduced to.” — Matthew Carr, author of Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain, 1492-1614

“Catlos walks us through the multifaceted interaction between Muslim and Christian relations. His expert analysis sheds light on the forces that play a role in forming both the fiction and the actuality of life in “Moorish” Spain.’ — Thomas F. Glick, Emeritus Professor of History, Boston University, and the author of Islamic and Christian Spain in the Early Middle Ages

The field of Mediterranean studies has been shaped in an insightful and ingenuous way through Brian Catlos’s contributions during the last decade. His current venture into the past of a specific region as well as political system — that is that of al-Andalus (Medieval Iberia during Muslim ruling)

 -is bringing to the forefront the same traits that have characterized his previous works that is a sharp and inquisitive mind that is focused to perceptive issues, paired with his ability to re-create historical events in a compelling way that is appealing to a broad public.” Maribel Fierro researcher at Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean, CSIC, Madrid

‘ Kingdoms of Faithconstitutes an innovative and unique contribution to the story of al-Andalus that is rooted in the author’s extensive knowledge of the medieval Iberian history. Brian Catlos has managed to create a highly engaging and well-written narrative that gives a timely review of the most recent developments in this area of study.” Alejandro Garcia Sanjuan, University of Huelva

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Hurst And Company Macmillan UK (July 5, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1787380033
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1787380035
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.97 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.49 x 1.69 x 6.42 inches

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Brian A. Catlos

ingdoms of Faith – Brian Catlos spent over a decade travelling and living throughout Europe as well as the Americas and The Middle East, North Africa and Asia prior to finishing the requirements for his PhD (Medieval studies, Toronto) before entering his current position in the History Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

He is a former President of the American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain, Co-Director of the Mediterranean Seminar (, and of the University of California Multi-Campus Research Project on Mediterranean Studies, an affiliate of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, an associate of Spain’s national research council (CSIC), and a member of several journal boards. 

He has published extensively on religious minorities and Christian-Muslim-Jewish relations in medieval Europe and the Islamic world, and has received numerous grants and awards, including an NEH Faculty Fellowship, and a Governor-General of Canada’s Gold Medal. His first book of academic research,

The Victors and the Vanquished is the recipient of two prizes from the American Historical Association, and his most recent worksentitled “The de Reys’ and ‘Accursed, Superior Men’, were awarded both the Bishko Prize as well as the Webb Prize, respectively. In 2009, he was appointed as a professor of Religious Studies within the University of Colorado, Boulder which has affiliations with Jewish Studies History, Humanities and History; in 2011

ingdoms of Faith – He was made an associate professor of Research Associated in Humanities at UC Santa Cruz. He was featured in the PBS documentary “Cities of Light” and also wrote travel guide books. For more, see

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