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29 IV: Sara Ann Knutson (UW) & Caitlin Ellis (University of Durham), 'Conversion' to Islam in Early Medieval Europe: Historical and Archaeological Perspectives on Northern European Interactions with Islam

Abstract 

Despite increased scholarly attention to the influence of Muslims and Islam on developments in medieval Europe, religious change to Islam remains a challenging subject for medieval research. This paper examines early medieval interactions between Muslim Arabs and Northern Europeans as a case study that opens the possibility that some Europeans ‘converted’ to Islam and considers why this process is often not more visible in source materials. By engaging both historical and archaeological approaches to religious change, we argue that Islamic belief and practices were more part of the Northern European reality than is often acknowledged.