Offerings of Jewish Infants to the Catholic Faith

Marina Caffiero

in Forced Baptism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780520254510
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950283 | DOI:
Offerings of Jewish Infants to the Catholic Faith

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Offerings are vital as a phenomenon, not only for their number, but also for their implications in such delicate matters as inheritance; matrimony; rights over the baby, born and unborn; the exercise of patria potestas; and perceptions of the body and of the maternal rights. The practice increased steadily between the late seventeenth century and the nineteenth century, causing extremely grave psychological and material violence aimed particularly at women. In civic law, parents included not only the father but also the parental grandfather and great-grandfather, the mother, and eventually, the parental grandmother and great-grandmother as well. The right to be careful parents with the consequent right of offering was thus originally limited to the direct line, excluding agnates and, at most, conceded to one spouse by the other. However, as time went by, it was expanded step by step to include offerings by almost all kin in the widest sense.

Keywords: patria potestas; matrimony; offerings; civic law; agnates

Chapter.  17261 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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