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María Rosa Menocal is the R. Selden Rose Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and director of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University. This is the text of a lecture given at the closing dinner of the Middle East Legal Studies Seminar (MELSS), Istanbul, Turkey, May 9, 2000. These remarks are all adapted from material in the author's forthcoming book, The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain to be published by Little, Brown and Company in the spring of 2002.

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