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After Conversion

Iberia and the Emergence of Modernity

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Edited by Mercedes García-Arenal

This book examines the religious and ideological consequences of mass conversion in Iberia, where Jews and Muslims were forcibly converted or expelled at the end of the XVth century and beginning of the XVIth, and in this way it explores the fraught relationship between origins and faith. It treats also of the consequences of coercion on intellectual debates and the production of knowledge, taking into account how integrating new converts from Judaism and Islam stimulated Christian scholars to confront the converts’ sacred texts and created a distinctive peninsular hermeneutics. The book thus assesses the importance of the “Converso problem” in issues such as religious dissidence, dissimulation, and doubt and skepticism while establishing the process by which religious dissidence came to be categorized as heresy and was identified with converts from Judaism and Islam even when Lutheranism was often in the background.

The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews 

Jesuits of Jewish Ancestry and Purity-of-Blood Laws in the Early Society of Jesus

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Robert Maryks

In The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews the author explains how Christians with Jewish family backgrounds went within less than forty years from having a leading role in the foundation of the Society of Jesus to being prohibited from membership in it. The author works at the intersection to two important historical topics, each of which attracts considerable scholarly attention but that have never received sustained and careful attention together, namely, the early modern histories of the Jesuit order and of Iberian “purity of blood” concerns.
An analysis of the pro- and anti-converso texts in this book (both in terms of what they are claiming and what their limits are) advance our understanding of early modern, institutional Catholicism at the intersection of early modern religious reform and the new racism developing in Spain and spreading outwards.