Accepted paper:

Between magic and science: Morisco healing practices in early modern Spain


Esther Fernández (University of Granada)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper we will try to show the peculiarities of the medical and magical outcomes of the Morisco community in early modern Spain as the product of Arabic and Scholastic scientific currents and Muslim-Christian hybridization.

Paper long abstract:

Medical knowledge in Early Modern Spain was connected to arabized Galenism, that is the greek philosophic and medical theory assimilated to arabic scientific tradition. Based on earlier developments in medicine and pharmacology in al-Andalus, the Moriscos, Muslims converted to Christianity by means of edicts, implemented the principles of galenic medicine in their cures. The testimonies and healing practices of the Moriscos documented during the sixteenth century show that they were in most cases accompanied with magical and ritual procedures. This phenomenon, which has been evaluated so far as the consequence of the devaluated Arabic-Muslim culture of al-Andalus is now going through review. It will be claimed as the hybrid product of the confluence of various sociological, cultural and religious levels which led to the originality of the magical and healing practices of the Moriscos. The galenic theory played a major role in those developments as the basis on which ritual variations and healing procedures were represented in the Morisco practices.

panel P23
Medical knowledge in motion: exchange, transformation and iteration in the medical traditions of the Late Antique Mediterranean world