This book investigates the interactions between Muslims and Christians in the late medieval and early modern period from the perspective of sexual and gender transgressions. The first part analyses normative discourses and literary texts in the Arabic, Turkish Ottoman and Spanish worlds, highlighting continuities and fractures. The second part explores concrete interactions between Muslim and Christians, reconstructed through the study of criminal sources from the archives of the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions.
The essays collected here reveal to what extent reflecting on sexual and gender non-conformity constitutes a vantage point for reconstructing the cross-cultural interactions between Christianity and Islam in the Mediterranean world. On the one hand, proscribed sexual behaviours and gendered performances opened the possibility for connections in semi-clandestine networks of sociability that would have been inconceivable in other settings. On the other, cross-religious sexual and emotional exchanges sometimes favoured processes of religious hybridisation or the development of skeptic attitudes towards institutionalised faiths.