The Jews of Europe and the Inquisition of Venice, 1550-1670

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Venice in the 16th and 17th centuries was on the frontier between Christianity and Judaism, being one of the principle points of departure from Europe to the Levant and of re-entry from the Ottoman Empire. It was often the place where Europeans of the Jewish blood made their final choice between Christianity and Judaism. Those who hesitated over their choice, or behaved ambiguously, frequently fell into the hands of the Inquisition. Brain Pullman examines the social and political purpose of the Inquisition, its ...
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Overview

Venice in the 16th and 17th centuries was on the frontier between Christianity and Judaism, being one of the principle points of departure from Europe to the Levant and of re-entry from the Ottoman Empire. It was often the place where Europeans of the Jewish blood made their final choice between Christianity and Judaism. Those who hesitated over their choice, or behaved ambiguously, frequently fell into the hands of the Inquisition. Brain Pullman examines the social and political purpose of the Inquisition, its composition, procedures and legal entitlement to judge Jews. He then considers Jews as groups or 'nations', their place in the religious, social and economic order, and the changing policies of the Inquisition and the Venetian Senate towards them, particularly towards Sephardic Jews and Marranos. The detail of the Inquisition records is such that Professor Pullan is able in the third part of the book to discuss the mentality of converts and reconstruct a number of biographies and accounts of family life. He pays particular attention to those who fell foul of the Inquisition because they were confused about their religious identity, or because they tried as the opportunity arose to live in the two worlds of Christianity and Judaism. He describes the origins of the new Christians who, though having no Jewish ancestry, nevertheless flirted dangerously with the doctrines and customs of Jews.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Paperbound reprint of a 1983 work. During the time of the Roman Inquisition, Venice was a prominent passageway between Catholic Europe and the religiously pluralist Ottoman Empire. Thus, for many Jews, Venice became the site where they chose either to renounce their faith and convert, or to strike a balance between Judaism and Catholicism. It was members of the latter category who were most likely to fall into the hands of the Inquisition. This book analyzes Inquisition records of about a hundred individual cases, illuminating the difficult place of Jews and converts alike in Venetian society of the period. Distributed by St. Martin's Press. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760704653
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Edition description: Only from B&N
  • Pages: 348

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