Marginal Voices

Studies in Converso Literature of Medieval and Golden Age Spain


The conversos of late medieval and Golden Age Spain were Christians whose Jewish ancestors had been forced to change faiths within a society that developed a preoccupation with pure Christian lineage. The aims of this book is to shed new light on the cultural impact of this social climate, in which public suspicion of the religious sincerity of conversos became widespread and scrutiny by the Inquisition came to impede social advancement and threaten life and property. The bulk of the essays center on literary works, including lesser known and canonical pieces, which are analyzed by scholars who reveal the heterogeneous nature of textual voices that are informed by an awareness of the marginal status of conversos. Contributors are Gregory B. Kaplan, Ana Benito, Patricia Timmons, David Wacks, Bruce Rosenstock, Laura Delbrugge, Michelle Hamilton, Deborah Skolnik Rosenberg, Kevin Larsen and Luis Bejarano.
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Biographical Note

Amy Aronson-Friedman, Ph.D. (2000) in Hispanic Linguistics and Medieval Spanish Literature, Temple University, is Associate Professor of Spanish and ESOL at Valdosta State University. She has published extensively on the conversos of medieval Spain. Gregory B. Kaplan, Ph.D. (1994) in Medieval Spanish Philology, University of Pennsylvania, is Professor of Spanish at the University of Tennessee. He has published a number of studies on converso literature including The Evolution of ‘Converso’ Literature (UP of Florida, 2002).

Table of contents

List of Contributors ...vii Editors’ Introduction to Marginal Voices: Studies in Converso Literature of Medieval and Golden Age Spain ... 1 Amy I. Aronson-Friedman and Gregory B. Kaplan The Inception of Limpieza de Sangre (Purity of Blood) and its Impact in Medieval and Golden Age Spain ...19 Gregory B. Kaplan Inquisition and the Creation of the Other ... 43 Ana Benito Conflicted Identity and Colonial Adaptation in Petrus Alfonsi’s Dialogus contra judaeos and Disciplina clericalis ...69 David A. Wacks Convivencia and Conversion in Gonzalo de Berceo’s “El judïezno” ...91 Patricia Timmons Against the Pagans: Alonso de Cartagena, Francisco de Vitoria, and Converso Political Theology ...117 Bruce Rosenstock Pragmatism, Patience and the Passion: The Converso Element in the Summa de paciencia (1493) and the Thesoro de la passion (1494) ... 141 Laura Delbrugge Text and Context: A Judeo-Spanish Version of the Danza de la muerte ... 161 Michelle Hamilton The Converso and the Spanish Picaresque Novel...183 Deborah Skolnik Rosenberg Cervantes, Don Quijote, and the Hebrew Scriptures: The Case of the Jacob and Joseph Stories ... 207 Kevin S. Larsen Anti-Semitic Discourse or the Voice of a Disguised Converso in a Seventeenth-Century Spanish Treatise ... 233 Luis G. Bejarano Index...249


Readers interested in the conversos of Spain, converso history and literature, the history of medieval and Golden Age Spain, the history and procedures of the Spanish Inquisition, and literary criticism.