Interreligious narratives in the material culture of Navarra, Northern Spain
The region of Navarra provides ample opportunities to explore interreligious aesthetics.Made internationally famous by Ernest Hemmingway¿s Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises, andmore recently, as one of the most picturesque stages of the popular Camino de Santiagowalking pilgrimage, Navarra is located between the French and Spanish provinces of theBasque Country, La Rioja and Aragon. Born during the Reconquista, Navarra was anindependent kingdom up to 1512 when it was incorporated into the crown of Castile.Through the modern period it struggled to maintain its own cultural, religious and legalidentity within the Spanish Monarchy. In this article we examine the representation andcontestation of religions in the artistic and material culture of this province. We do this inorder to consider how religious narratives may be expressed and contested by invoking thesenses. We focus on examples of Navarran material culture that dispute or support historical narratives relevant to the ongoing identity politics of the regional government,nationalist groups, religious communities and the tourism industry. By considering theseexamples we make a wider contribution to the theory of interreligious aesthetics, arguingthat religious difference is not only symbolically represented in architecture, images, art,and ritual, but can also be its raison d'être.