1492/1992: the Religious Legacy

IN medieval Spain, with most of Europesunk in the Dark Ages, Muslims, Jews, and Christians created a golden age that planted the seeds of the Renaissance. But their restless, fruitful mingling came to a halt in 1492.

As Columbus set sail for the New World, Spain's Catholic monarchs were expelling -- by war and decree -- practicing Muslims and Jews through other ports. Those acts of religious fervor also altered the course of history.

Today, in a commemorative report on the quincentennial, the Monitor considers the religious legacy of 1492 and current trends shaping the faiths of the Old and New Worlds. The expulsions of the Jews and Muslims from Spain, and the consequences9 Islam's presence in Europe and North America; views of Islamic fundamentalism10 The Jews' search for identity within the State of Israel; anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union; 500 years in Turkey 12 The changing nature of Christianity in Latin America; native Americans' pursuit of religious freedoms14

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