Heretics or Daughters of Israel?: The Crypto-Jewish Women of Castile [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Heretics or Daughters of Israel?: The Crypto-Jewish Women of Castile

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...thoroughly researched and brilliantly written." --Midstream

"Melammed has done a fine job of bringing what should have long been a central topic in converso studies from the periphery of the field to its rightful place."--The Jewish Quarterly Review

"Renée Levine Melammed has given us an impressive and thoughtful study of the records of the Inquisition, showing how they can serve as an important source for documenting women's religion and demonstrating how, during a difficult period, women perserved Jewish religious expression for men."--NASHIM

"The stories of these valiant women contribute profitably to Jewish and general history and to women's studies."--Choice

"...[A]n interesting and important book that reveals a great deal about the lives of these Christian or Jewish women on whom the Inquisition focused its wrath - in the belief that the flames of the auto-da-fe would save their souls from the fires of hell."--Ha'aretz

"Renee Levine Melammed has given us an impressive and thoughtful study of the records of the Inquisition, showing how they can serve as an important source for documenting women's religion and demonstrating how, during a difficult period, women preserved Jewish religious expression for men."--Nashim

"...Melammed's analysis of the social history of the conversos is invaluable. She uncovers their jobs, servants, social networks, religious practices, and even their diets....[She] makes clear the tragedy of their unstable and precarious existence, a life that was aptly described by one crypto-Jew as 'like a cork [floating] on the water'."--Sixteenth Century Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195357295
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/20/1999
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 469 KB

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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