West Norman Public Library, 300 Norman Center Court
In the centuries following the rise of Islam, the populations of the Near East gradually adopted the faith of the dominant élites, transforming the Christians, in many places, from the majority to a minority. Jewish communities, already a minority before the coming of Islam, faced new challenges-and opportunities. What rôle could these minority groups play in the new Islamic societies? What accomplishments did they achieve and how did they contribute to the emerging Islamic civilisation? This lecture will examine these and other questions and explain why it was better to be a minority in the Islamic world than in Christendom.