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The Persistence of Mudejar Islam? Alonso de Luna (Muhammad Abū 'l- Āsī), the Lead Books, and the Gospel of Barnabas

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This article deals with the origins of a famous group of Muslim texts, the so-called Gospel of Barnabas, a pseudoepigraphic piece of anti-Christian polemics in the form of a gospel, and the so-called Lead Books, found in Granada at the end of the sixteenth century. The authorship of these forgeries is controversial, but they seem to have their roots in medieval and renaissance mudejar and Morisco Spain. This essay situates the question of authorship against the background of the transition of mudejar to Morisco culture and deals with the Islamic names of some of those responsible for the texts: the Moriscos Alonso del Castillo (al-Jabbis), his son-in-law Miguel de Luna (al-Ukayhil), and their grandson and son Alonso de Luna (Muhammad Abū 'l- Āsī). New light is shed on the latter's travels to Rome and Istanbul and his Inquisition trial in 1618, as well as on his involvement in the Gospel of Barnabas and the Sacromonte Lead Book affairs.

Affiliations: 1: Radboud University, Nijmegen


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