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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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Introduction The Judaizing Heresy, the Inquisition, and the Conversas

Introduction The Judaizing Heresy, the Inquisition, and the Conversas

(p.3) Introduction The Judaizing Heresy, the Inquisition, and the Conversas
Heretics or Daughters of Israel?

Renée Levine Melammed

Oxford University Press

The demise of Spanish Jewry actually began in 1391 and this chapter details events aroubd the upheavals of the Jews and the crypto-Jews of Spain. The motives of the rioters of 1391 were not as clear-cut as one might think; they have been accused of having pure religious motivations, economic and socioeconomic motives, anti-Semitic tendencies, as well as class resentment. The results of these violent outbreaks were similar whatever the reason and whoever the participant: tremendous loss of Jewish life, perhaps as much as a third of Spanish Jewry; major destruction of property; and also forced conversion and baptism of tens of thousands of Jews. This was the largest mass forced conversion of Jews in history and the consequences were overwhelming for Jews and the non-Jews.

Keywords:   Spanish Jewry, Jews, forced conversion, religious motivations, crypto-Jews

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