Heretics or Daughters of Israel?: The Crypto-Jewish Women of Castile / Edition 1

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Between 1391 and the end of the fifteenth century, numerous Spanish Jews converted to Christianity, most of them under duress. Before and after 1492, when the Jews were officially expelled from Spain, a significant number of these conversos maintained clandestine ties to Judaism, despite their outward conformity to Catholicism. Through the lens of the Inquisition's own records, this study focuses on the crypto-Jewish women of Castile, demonstrating their central role in the perpetuation of crypto-Jewish society in the absence of traditional Jewish institutions led by men. Melammed finds that even after two, three, and four generations of outward Catholic observance, crypto-Jewish women were still observing an array of Jewish practices and passing them on to their daughters: a century after the Expulsion, they were still reciting converso interpretations of Hebrew psalms and risking their lives to carry on their Jewish tradition. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars in a wide range of disciplines, including Jewish and European history and women's studies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195151671
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Judaizing Heresy, the Inquisition, and the Conversas 3
1 Jews and Conversas: The First Century of Crypto-Judaism 16
2 The Lives of Judaizing Women after 1492 31
3 Messianic Turmoil circa 1500 45
4 Castilian Conversas at Work 73
5 The Lopez-Villarreal Family: Three Convicted Judaizers (1516-1521) 94
6 The Lopez Women's Tachas 113
7 The Inquisition and the Midwife 140
8 The Judaizers of Alcazar at the End of the Sixteenth Century: "Corks Floating on Water" 150
Conclusion: Heretics or Daughters of Israel? 166
Appendix 1 175
Appendix 2 189
Appendix 3 191
Notes 205
Bibliography 243
Index 249
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