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Year's Work in Modern Language Studies
— Carmen Peraita
Richard L. Kagan and Abigail Dyer have collected, translated, and annotated autobiographies from six prisoners, five tried in Europe and one in Mexico. Each of the autobiographies has been selected to represent a particular political or social issue, and they raise intimate questions about the religious, sexual, political, or national identity of the prisoners. Among them are a politically incendiary prophet; a self-proclaimed hermaphrodite charged with violating the sacrament of marriage for marrying a woman; a female convert to Catholicism who betrayed her Jewish origins by serving as a rabbi and preaching heretical doctrine in the New World; and a morisco, an Islamic convert to Catholicism who claimed to have been circumcised against his will. In their introduction, Kagan and Dyer stress the "collaborative" nature of these texts, citing the coercion involved and the purpose of the interrogations that solicited them. Making these invaluable primary sources available for the first time in English, Inquisitorial Inquiries will be of interest to students and scholars of early modern Europe, colonial Latin America, gender studies, and religious history.
— Carmen Peraita
Through depositions related to Judaism, Islam, heretical Christianity and sexual deviance, the book effectively addresses many of the ethnic, racial, religious, and social tensions that plagued early modern Spain and its colonies... An excellent resource for the history classroom.
The editors of this volume have performed a useful service for anyone interested in the Inquisition's activities.
The authors have edited and translated the original documents with skill and sensitivity and accompanied each testimony with useful explanatory notes. The resulting autobiographies are of primary importance to historians of the period for what they teach us about prisoners’ lives, their tactics of dissimulation and the power of their testimony which, it might be argued, went as far as to challenge the authority of the Inquisition itself.
A highly readable account... provides a very useful look into the lives of individuals whose activities brought them before the Inquisition.
Kagan and Dyer have provided a useful service in translating excerpts from inquisitorial documents housed in Spanish and Mexican archives.
|1||Renegade Jew : Luis de la Ysla||21|
|2||Sexuality and the marriage sacrament : Elena/Eleno de Cespedes||36|
|3||Miguel de Piedrola : the "soldier-prophet"||60|
|4||The price of conversion : Francisco de San Antonio and Mariana de los Reyes||88|
|5||A captive's tale : Diego Diaz||119|
|6||Keeping the faith : Dona Blanca Mendez de Rivera||152|