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Heretics or Daughters of Israel?The Crypto-Jewish Women of Castile$
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Renée Levine Melammed

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151671.001.0001

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Conclusion Heretics or Daughters of Israel?

Conclusion Heretics or Daughters of Israel?

(p.166) Conclusion Heretics or Daughters of Israel?
Heretics or Daughters of Israel?

Renée Levine Melammed

Oxford University Press

The conversas whose trials have been analysed in this book used their homes as the means to subvert the attempts by the Church and the Inquisition to eradicate their religious heritage. The converso home was, “a bastion of cultural resistance in which women played leading roles” in preserving their tradition and in “resisting Christian hegemony.” These women achieved such subversion not only by means of their traditional role, but also through their work, their sense of community, and a distinct awareness not only of what they were doing, but of why they were doing so. Their homes provided them with the means to attempt to observe Judaism clandestinely and provide for continuity in their nuclear and extended families. These daughters of Israel were well aware of the risks and her so-called heretical acts were a necessary and inseparable part of her heritage and her seemingly indestructible links to the Jewish people.

Keywords:   conversas, Inquisition, Christian hegemony, Judaism

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