Historicizing Christianity and Profiat Duran’s Kelimat ha-Goyim (1397)

In: Medieval Encounters
Carsten L. Wilke Department of History, Central European University Nador u. 9, 1051 Budapest Hungary

Search for other papers by Carsten L. Wilke in
Current site
Google Scholar
View More View Less
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


This study of the Hebrew treatise Kelimat ha-Goyim (“Shame of the Gentiles,” 1397) by Profiat Duran exemplifies the stimulating impact medieval religious polemics exerted on the scholarly construction of Christian religious history. Besides explaining Jesus in his Jewish context, this Catalan author outlined in detail the emergence of the fundamental Christian dogmas during the apostolic, patristic, and medieval age and searched for the driving forces behind long-term religious transformation. While a common view holds that Duran’s method of New Testament study mirrored thirteenth-century Christian Talmudism, I underscore his originality as a historian of religion, whose clandestinely transmitted text still inspired early modern and nineteenth century attempts at critical scholarship. Duran’s proper context is the contemporary converso problem. A comparison with a Spanish Renaissance text, the Diálogos en Marruecos, strongly suggests that his historical representation of ex-Jews turned into Christian leaders not only addressed conversos, but actually meant to caricature them.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 323 52 11
Full Text Views 245 7 2
PDF Views & Downloads 51 15 1