Heretics or Daughters of Israel?: The Crypto-Jewish Women of Castile

Paperback | March 15, 2002

byRenee Levine Melammed

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Between 1391 and the end of the 15th century, numerous Spanish Jews converted to Christianity, most of them under duress. Before and after 1492, when the Jews were officially expelled from Spain, a significant number of these conversos maintained clandestine ties to Judaism, despite theiroutward conformity to Catholicism. Through the lens of the Inquisition's own records, this groundbreaking study focuses on the crypto-Jewish women of Castile, demonstrating their central role in the perpetuation of crypto-Jewish society in the absence of traditional Jewish institutions led by men.Renee Levine Melammed shows how many "conversas" acted with great courage and commitment to perpetuate their religious heritage, seeing themselves as true daughters of Israel. Her fascinating book sheds new light on the roles of women in the transmission of Jewish traditions and cultures.

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Between 1391 and the end of the 15th century, numerous Spanish Jews converted to Christianity, most of them under duress. Before and after 1492, when the Jews were officially expelled from Spain, a significant number of these conversos maintained clandestine ties to Judaism, despite theiroutward conformity to Catholicism. Through the l...

Renee Levine Melammed is at Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 9.21 × 5.98 × 0.91 inPublished:March 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195151674

ISBN - 13:9780195151671

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Judaizing Heresy, the Inquistion and the Conversas1. Jews and Conversas: The First Century of Crypto-Judaism2. The Lives of Judaizing Women after 14923. Messianic Turmoil Circa 15004. Castilian Conversas at Work5. The Lopez - Vilarreal Family: Three Convicted Judaizers (1516 - 1521)6. The Lopez Women's Tachas7. The Inquisition and the Midwife8. The Judaizers of Alcazar at the end of the Sixteenth Century: "Corks Floating on Water"Conclusion: Heretics or Daughters of Israel?

Editorial Reviews

"Melammed's close reading of these cases and her generous quotation from the original documents, some of which are summarized in an appendix, provide an exceptional glimpse into the daily lives not only of conversas but also of the Old Christian majority with whom they had somehow tocoexist."--American Historical Review