Where do we come from? The Christian, Muslim and Jewish assessment Lecture Series CONFRONTATIONS OF HISTORIANS

Where do we come from? The Christian, Muslim and Jewish assessment

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Antonio Morales Moya

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  1. Antonio Morales MoyaAntonio Morales Moya(1933) ha sido catedrático de Historia Contemporánea de las universidades de Salamanca y de la Carlos III de Madrid, actualmente es catedrático emérito de esta última. Ha dictado cursos y seminarios en diversas universidades, entre ellas las de Coímbra, Roma y la Sorbona, y dirigido revistas como Estudios dieciochistas y Studia Historica. Actualmente coordina en la Fundación José Ortega y Gasset un proyecto de investigación sobre “Nación y nacionalismo español”. Entre sus últimos libros publicados figuran: Marxism: Between Science and Prophecy (2005), Julio Caro Baroja: el historiador (2005), Historiographie et pouvoir politique (2006) y En el espacio político. Ensayo historiográfico (2008).

Two illustrious figures of the Spanish culture, traumatized by civil war, Américo Castro –La realidad histórica de España (1954), preceded by España en su historia. Cristianos, moros y judíos (1948)- and Claudio Sánchez Albornoz –España, un enigma histórico (1956)– formulated their interpretation of the Spanish History, basing the in-adaptation of Spain to the modern world in the existence of a national character. These works of great erudition, based on different literary and documental sources, are now seen as complementary and caused probably the greatest controversy of our modern historiographic history. Other historians and philologists also participated more or less direcly in this controversy –Menéndez Pidal, Leo Spitzer, Marcel Bataillon, Lapesa, Dámaso Alonso, Lida de Malkiel, García Gómez–, and Goméz-Martínez has taken good note of this controversy. At one point, Vicens Vives considered the controversy useful, and he specially insisted in resolving it by eliminating the topics and clichés, and proposing the basic factors of the history of the Peninsula: man, misery and hunger, epidemic and death, territorial property, lord-vassal relations, from civil servant to civilian, from monarch to subject..., factors not too different from those that have been experimented by the neighboring Mediterranean countries. The Catalonian historian had doubts about Spain being a "historical enigma" or a "living by renouncing". He concluded that there was too much Unamunian anguish for a Mediterranean community with specific and periodical problems: "attempting to provide with a modest but worthy pass to thirty million habitants". Today we are more than forty-six millions and it has been a long time since our livelihood is solved. Yet..., old problems arise again and it is difficult not to feel the current tensions and insecurities that, in words of Castro, have always characterized our history.

In any case, many contributions by Castro and Sánchez Albornoz still maintain their suggestive value. In the same way, the current attempt to construct a global vision of the Spanish History and its proposal of contributing to a harmonious Spain, also remains valid.