Dying in the Law of Moses: Crypto-Jewish Martyrdom in the Iberian World

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Overview

Miriam Bodian’s study of crypto-Jewish martyrdom in Iberian lands depicts a new type of martyr that emerged in the late 16th century—a defiant, educated judaizing martyr who engaged in disputes with inquisitors. By examining closely the Inquisition dossiers of four men who were tried in the Iberian peninsula or Spanish America and who developed judaizing theologies that drew from currents of Reformation thinking that emphasized the authority of Scripture and the religious autonomy of individual interpreters of Scripture, Miriam Bodian reveals unexpected connections between Reformation thought and historic crypto-Judaism. The complex personalities of the martyrs, acting in response to psychic and situational pressures, emerge vividly from this absorbing book.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Allison P. Coudert

"[A]n important and timely book.... While a great deal of work has been done on the Inquisitionthe approach taken here is very readable and up to date in its findings about this controversial institution; the intricacies of its operation are really brought home in the individual case studies." —Allison P. Coudert

From the Publisher
Miriam Bodian’s study of crypto-Jewish martyrdom in Iberian lands depicts a new type of martyr that emerged in the late 16th century—a defiant, educated judaizing martyr who engaged in disputes with inquisitors. By examining closely the Inquisition dossiers of four men who were tried in the Iberian peninsula or Spanish America and who developed judaizing theologies that drew from currents of Reformation thinking that emphasized the authority of Scripture and the religious autonomy of individual interpreters of Scripture, Miriam Bodian reveals unexpected connections between Reformation thought and historic crypto-Judaism.Joseph Haberer, Book Editor, SHOFAR, Summer 2008, Volume 26, No. 4

"[A]n important and timely book.... While a great deal of work has been done on the Inquisitionthe approach taken here is very readable and up to date in its findings about this controversial institution; the intricacies of its operation are really brought home in the individual case studies." —Allison P. Coudert

SHOFAR - Joseph Haberer

Miriam Bodian’s study of crypto-Jewish martyrdom in Iberian lands depicts a new type of martyr that emerged in the late 16th century—a defiant, educated judaizing martyr who engaged in disputes with inquisitors. By examining closely the Inquisition dossiers of four men who were tried in the Iberian peninsula or Spanish America and who developed judaizing theologies that drew from currents of Reformation thinking that emphasized the authority of Scripture and the religious autonomy of individual interpreters of Scripture, Miriam Bodian reveals unexpected connections between Reformation thought and historic crypto-Judaism.Joseph Haberer, Book Editor, SHOFAR, Summer 2008, Volume 26, No. 4

Renaissance Quarterly - Sara T. Nalle

"... an excellent study that successfully brings together many diverse strands of scholarship and will appeal to students of religion, Judaism, and Iberian history alike." —Sara T. Nalle, William Paterson University, Renaissance Quarterly, 61.2 (Summer 2008)

Bulletin of Spanish Studies - DEAN PHILLIP BELL

"Throughout, Bodian has crafted a rich and accessible narrative.... [This] is a readable and thoughtful volume that raises many important questions...." —DEAN PHILLIP BELL, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, Chicago, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Vol. 87. 3 May 2010

Shofar
Miriam Bodian’s study of crypto-Jewish martyrdom in Iberian lands depicts a new type of martyr that emerged in the late 16th century—a defiant, educated judaizing martyr who engaged in disputes with inquisitors. By examining closely the Inquisition dossiers of four men who were tried in the Iberian peninsula or Spanish America and who developed judaizing theologies that drew from currents of Reformation thinking that emphasized the authority of Scripture and the religious autonomy of individual interpreters of Scripture, Miriam Bodian reveals unexpected connections between Reformation thought and historic crypto-Judaism.Joseph Haberer, Book Editor, SHOFAR, Summer 2008, Volume 26, No. 4

— Joseph Haberer, Book Editor

Renaissance Quarterly
"... an excellent study that successfully brings together many diverse strands of scholarship and will appeal to students of religion, Judaism, and Iberian history alike." —Sara T. Nalle, William Paterson University, Renaissance Quarterly, 61.2 (Summer 2008)

— Sara T. Nalle, William Paterson University

AJS Review

"Bodian's study is both moving and illuminating.... a major contribution to converso studies and a demonstration of intellectual honesty." —AJS Review, Vol. 33.2

Bulletin of Spanish Studies
"Throughout, Bodian has crafted a rich and accessible narrative.... [This] is a readable and thoughtful volume that raises many important questions...." —DEAN PHILLIP BELL, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, Chicago, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Vol. 87. 3 May 2010

— DEAN PHILLIP BELL, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, Chicago

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253348616
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Series: Modern Jewish Experience Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,332,944
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Miriam Bodian is Professor of Jewish History in the Graduate School of Jewish Studies at Touro College. Her book Hebrews of the Portuguese Nation: Conversos and Community in Early Modern Amsterdam (IUP, 1998) received a National Jewish Book Award for History and a Koret Prize for History.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations

1. The Historical Setting
2. The Dogmatista Crypto-Jewish Martyrs
3. A Conquistador's Nephew in New Spain
4. A Monk of Castanheira
5. A Converso Surgeon in the Viceroyalty of Peru
6. A Hebrew Scholar at the University of Salamanca
7. Echoes in the Portuguese-Jewish Diaspora

Appendix A: Commemoration of Individual Martyrs in the Literature of the Portuguese-Jewish Diaspora, to 1683
Appendix B: Summary of Luis Carvajal's Nine Reasons for Adhering to the Law of Moses, Audience of February 15, 1595, PLC, 235-238
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Indiana University Press

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