“Neither through Habits, nor Solely through Will, but through Infused Faith”: Hernando de Talavera’s Understanding of Conversion

In: Forced Conversion in Christianity, Judaism and Islam
Davide Scotto
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This chapter questions the historiographic myth of Hernando de Talavera (1428–1507), the first archbishop of Granada after the Christian conquest, regarding the conversion of Christians of Jewish origins and Muslims. Talavera’s arguments on the abrogation of Jewish practices drawn from his Católica impugnación and his attitude towards the Muslims of Granada during the forced conversions of 1499–1502, are closely examined and compared. It will be shown how Talavera’s understanding of conversion is rooted in the medieval theological debate on the role of God’s grace and human will in the conversion process, especially the relationship between infused and acquired faith, as defined by Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham. The aim is to demonstrate that Talavera’s alleged tolerance towards non-Christians and his supposed opposition to forced conversion are less obvious, somehow contradictory, and more context-bound than is suggested by the static image of him which has been disseminated up to now.

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Forced Conversion in Christianity, Judaism and Islam

Coercion and Faith in Premodern Iberia and Beyond

Series:  Numen Book Series, Volume: 164


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