Introduction The Judaizing Heresy, the Inquisition, and the Conversas

Renée Levine Melammed

in Heretics or Daughters of Israel?

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780195151671
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849215 | DOI:
Introduction The Judaizing Heresy, the Inquisition, and the Conversas

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The demise of Spanish Jewry actually began in 1391 and this chapter details events aroubd the upheavals of the Jews and the crypto-Jews of Spain. The motives of the rioters of 1391 were not as clear-cut as one might think; they have been accused of having pure religious motivations, economic and socioeconomic motives, anti-Semitic tendencies, as well as class resentment. The results of these violent outbreaks were similar whatever the reason and whoever the participant: tremendous loss of Jewish life, perhaps as much as a third of Spanish Jewry; major destruction of property; and also forced conversion and baptism of tens of thousands of Jews. This was the largest mass forced conversion of Jews in history and the consequences were overwhelming for Jews and the non-Jews.

Keywords: Spanish Jewry; Jews; forced conversion; religious motivations; crypto-Jews

Chapter.  6554 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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