About the Author(s)
Nina Caputo is Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida. She is the author of Nahmanides in Medieval Catalonia: History, Community, Messianism (2007), and coeditor, with Andrea Sterk, of Faithful Narratives: Historians, Religion, and the Challenge of Objectivity (2014).
Liz Clarke is a professional illustrator based in Cape Town, South Africa.
"[T]hey have produced an outstanding, altogether original examination of this important event....A set of questions and resources for further research at the end enhance the book's value for undergraduates in classes on medieval Europe, Spain and the Mediterranean, Christian-Jewish relations, and seminars on historical methods. But it would also work well in a graduate seminar for the way it models historical thinking, and even scholars who know this material well--perhaps especially scholars who know this material well--will find the project highly illuminating."--Donald Copeland Klepper, The Historian
"Nina Caputo's marvelous reconstruction of the Barcelona Disputation is much more than a traditional narrative history. It is a laboratory permitting her readers to sift and weigh the evidence for themselves. She presents the dossier of primary sources that past historians have drawn from and their range of conclusions; but even more valuably, she lets us into the historian's workspace, allowing us to use the tools that she and Liz Clarke have assembled for the occasion, inviting us to share in the uncertainties, lacunae, and forking paths of which real historical interpretation is made. Too often when reading history books we passively consume narrative information about the past. This book invites readers to participate actively in rethinking it."--Marina Rustow,
Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East and Professor of History, Princeton University
"It is a rare treat to encounter a work of such historical, and aesthetic, probity. Erudite, thoughtful, and imaginative, Nina Caputo has put together and created a new and searching range of documents with which to read and reconstruct the 1263 Barcelona Disputation--a major event in the old asymmetric conflict that opposed Christians to Jews and to Muslims. Debating Truth is an exemplary perspectival account of the characters and plots, the broad contexts and settings, and the meanings and aftermaths of this layered contest. Attentive to law, culture, religion, and politics--and to narrative and interpretation--Caputo and Clarke have produced a striking book, a visual and intellectual feat that demonstrates that there is indeed much to debate still about truth and
representation."--Gil Anidjar, author of 'Our Place in al-Andalus': Kabbalah, Philosophy, Literature in Arab Jewish Letters
"Debating Truth treats a timeless subject in a new way. How should believers in different faiths dispute the convictions that divide them? The Barcelona Disputation provides a famous medieval example of that question, now made available in a graphically novel and compelling way."--David Nirenberg, author of Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the Middle Ages and Today
"A visual delight and a narrative tour de force, Debating Truth uses the conventions of the graphic novel to unearth an authentic sense of the drama and danger that infused Christian-Jewish relations in the Middle Ages. In tandem with the source collection and Caputo's historical overview, it provides both an engaging and lucid introduction to medieval Spain and a chance for students and scholars alike to meditate on how we remember the past and how we tell our stories about it."--Jay Rubenstein, University of Tennessee
"As a hybrid graphic history and academic work, Nina Caputo's Debating Truth not only offers an attractive and engaging book for classroom use but opens up welcome perspectives on the Barcelona Disputation. The graphic form forces the reader to contemplate the many gaps left in Nahmanides' account and in the historical record more generally."--Jonathan Decter, Brandeis University