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Francois Soyer

In Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories in the Early Modern Iberian World: Narratives of Fear and Hatred, François Soyer offers the first detailed historical analysis of antisemitic conspiracy theories in Spain, Portugal and their overseas colonies between 1450 and 1750. These conspiracy theories accused Jews and conversos, the descendants of medieval Jewish converts to Christianity, of deadly plots and blamed them for a range of social, religious, military and economic problems. Ultimately, many Iberian antisemitic conspiracy theorists aimed to create a ‘moral panic’ about the converso presence in Iberian society, thereby justifying the legitimacy of ethnic discrimination within the Church and society. Moreover, they were also exploited by some churchmen seeking to impose an idealized sense of communal identity upon the lay faithful.
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Horst Junginger

The Scientification of the "Jewish Question" in Nazi Germany describes the attempt of a considerable number of German scholars to counter the vanishing influence of religious prejudices against the Jews with a new antisemitic rationale. As anti-Jewish stereotypes of an old-fashioned soteriological kind had become dysfunctional under the pressure of secularization, a new, more objective explanation was needed to justify the age-old danger of Judaism in the present. In the 1930s a new research field called “Judenforschung” (Jew research) emerged. Its leading figures amalgamated racial and religious features to verify the existence of an everlasting “Jewish problem”. Along with that they offered scholarly concepts for its solution.
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Edited by Siam Bhayro and Catherine Rider

In many near eastern traditions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, demons have appeared as a cause of illness from ancient times until at least the early modern period. This volume explores the relationship between demons, illness and treatment comparatively. Its twenty chapters range from Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt to early modern Europe, and include studies of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They discuss the relationship between ‘demonic’ illnesses and wider ideas about illness, medicine, magic, and the supernatural. A further theme of the volume is the value of treating a wide variety of periods and places, using a comparative approach, and this is highlighted particularly in the volume’s Introduction and Afterword. The chapters originated in an international conference held in 2013.

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Lux in Tenebris

The Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericism

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Edited by Peter J. Forshaw

Lux in Tenebris is a collection of eighteen original interdisciplinary essays that address aspects of the verbal and visual symbolism in the works of significant figures in the history of Western Esotericism, covering such themes as alchemy, magic, kabbalah, angels, occult philosophy, Platonism, Rosicrucianism, and Theosophy. Part I: Middle Ages & Early Modernity ranges from Gikatilla, Ficino, Camillo, Agrippa, Weigel, Böhme, Yvon, and Swedenborg, to celestial divination in Russia. Part II: Modernity & Postmodernity moves from occultist thinkers Schwaller de Lubicz and Evola to esotericism in literature, art, and cinema, in the works of Colquhoun, Degouve de Nuncques, Bruskin, Doitschinoff, and Pérez-Reverte, with an essay on esoteric theories of colour.

Contributors are: Michael J.B. Allen, Susanna Åkerman, Lina Bolzoni, Aaron Cheak, Robert Collis, Francesca M. Crasta, Per Faxneld, Laura Follesa, Victoria Ferentinou, Joshua Gentzke, Joscelyn Godwin, Hans Thomas Hakl, Theodor Harmsen, Elke Morlok, Noel Putnik, Jonathan Schorsch, György Szönyi, Carsten Wilke, and Thomas Willard.
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Locating Religions

Contact, Diversity, and Translocality

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Edited by Reinhold Glei and Nikolas Jaspert

This collection of articles is an innovative contribution to religious studies, because it picks up concepts developed in the wake of the so-called “spatial turn”. Religions are always located in a certain cultural and spatial environment, but often tend to locate (or translocate) themselves beyond that original setting. Also, many religious traditions are not only tied to or associated with the area its respective adherent live in, but are in fact “bi-local” or even “multi-local”, as they closely relate to various spatial centers or plains at once. This spatial diversity inherent to many religions is a corollary to religious diversity or plurality that merits in-depth research. The articles in this volume present important findings from a series of settings within and between Asia and Europe
Open Access

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.
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Jewish Books and their Readers

Aspects of the Intellectual Life of Christians and Jews in Early Modern Europe

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Edited by Scott Mandelbrote and Joanna Weinberg

Jewish Books and their Readers discusses the transformative effect of the circulation and readership of sacred and secular texts written by Jews on Christian as well as Jewish readers in early modern Europe. Its twelve essays challenge traditional paradigms of Christian Hebraism and undermine simplistic visions of the unchanging nature of Jewish cultural life.They ask what constituted a ‘Jewish’ book: how it was presented, disseminated, and understood within both Jewish and Christian environments (and how its meanings were contested), and what effect such understanding had on contemporary views of Jews and their intellectual heritage. They demonstrate how the involvement of Christians in the production and dissemination of Jewish books played a role in the shaping of the intellectual life of Jews and Christians.

Contributors are: Michela Andreatta, Andrew Berns, Theodor Dunkelgrün, Federica Francesconi, Anthony Grafton Alessandro Guetta, William Horbury, Yosef Kaplan, Scott Mandelbrote, Piet van Boxel, Joanna Weinberg Benjamin Williams.
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Edited by Kevin Ingram and Juan Ignacio Pulido Serrano

Converso and Morisco are the terms applied to those Jews and Muslims who converted to Christianity in large numbers and usually under duress in late Medieval Spain. The Converso and Morisco Studies publications will examine the implications of these mass conversions for the converts themselves, for their heirs (also referred to as Conversos and Moriscos) and for Medieval and Modern Spanish culture. As the essays in this collection attest, the study of the Converso and Morisco phenomena is not only important for those scholars focused on Spanish society and culture, but for academics everywhere interested in the issues of identity, Otherness, nationalism, religious intolerance and the challenges of modernity.

Contributors include Mercedes Alcalá-Galan, Ruth Fine, Kevin Ingram, Yosef Kaplan, Sara T. Nalle, Juan Ignacio Pulido Serrano, Miguel Rodrigues Lourenço, Ashar Salah, Gretchen Starr-LeBeau, Claude Stuczynski, and Gerard Wiegers.
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Jews and Christians in Denmark

From the Middle Ages to Recent Times, ca. 1100-1948

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Martin Schwarz Lausten

In Jews and Christians in Denmark: From the Middle Ages to Recent Times, ca. 1100–1948, Martin Schwarz Lausten investigates how the Church and society followed the European antijudaistic tradition using insults, adversities and attempted conversions during Catholic times from around 1100 and Protestant times starting around 1536. In spite of the tolerant policies of integration initiated by the government beginning in the 1800’s, anti-Semitic movements arose among priests, professors and local authorities. However, during the German occupation (1940–1945) priests and many others assisted the 7,000 Danish Jews in their escape to Sweden. Based on Jewish and Christian sources, Jewish reactions to life in Denmark are also examined.
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Edited by Matthias Bley, Nikolas Jaspert and Stefan Köck

While comparative studies on purity and impurity presented in the last decades have mostly concentrated on the ancient world or on modern developments, this volume focusses the hitherto comparatively neglected period between ca. 300 and 1600 c. E. The collection is innovative because it not only combines papers on both European and Asian cultures but also considers a wide variety of religions and confessions. The articles are written by leading experts in the field and are presented in six systematic sections. This analytical categorization facilitates understanding the functional spectrum that the binomial purity and impurity could cover in past societies. The volume thus presents an in-depth comparative analysis of a category of paramount importance for interfaith relations and processes of transfer.