Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Between Christian and Jew: Conversion and Inquisition

A book review by A. Novikoff for the 2012 volume by Tartakoff, Paola: Between Christian and Jew: Conversion and Inquisition in the Crown of Aragon, 1250-1391.

Conversion in the medieval and early modern periods, as scholars have increasingly been inclined to demonstrate, was neither an absolute rupture from the host community nor an irreversible marker of one's identity. In this slender book, Paola Tartakoff marshals precious documentary evidence in support of this perspective while making a productive contribution to the related fields of medieval Jewish- Christian relations, inquisition studies, and conversion. Drawing from a little-known set of inquisitorial records in the seemingly inexhaustible royal and cathedral archives of Barcelona, she undertakes an examination of Jewish converts to Christianity in the century and a half prior to the massacres and forced conversions of 1391, a date that has received great scrutiny in recent years by historians of violence and persecution. Indeed, it is in view of the attention given to the more heavily documented later examples of mass conversion that Tartakoff has decided to confine herself to the pre- massacre period when the situation for converts was more fluid and less overtly violent; in her words, "paradoxical."
Click here to read the review 

No comments:

Post a Comment