Deciphering Secrets is about scholars and the public collaborating to better understand Jewish, Christian, and Muslim coexistence during the Spanish Middle Ages (500-1500 CE).
Since summer 2014, we have delivered Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to share the interreligious history of Spain (also known as Islamic al-Andalus and Jewish Sefarad). We work alongside of museums like the Museo Sefardi (Toledo). the Museo de Santa Cruz (Toledo), the Museo de Burgos, and the New Mexico History Museum to present compelling cultural knowledge. Further, our research efforts energize current and former MOOC students to assist with transcribing and investigating medieval manuscripts pertaining to medieval/early modern Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interrelations. We teach introductory, intermediate, and advanced Spanish paleography (or, reading old handwriting) to our students so that they can “decipher secrets” from medieval manuscripts. Through our collaborations with Spanish cathedral, municipal, and national archives we are making new collections available for investigation. Presently, our research is focused on interreligious affairs in the cities of Plasencia, Burgos, Toledo, and Granada, and their broader connections to the Iberian Peninsula. Read more