Jews, Converts, and Inquisitors in Medieval Spain: Recent Revelations

Paola Tartakoff, Department of Jewish Studies, Rutgers University
Tuesday, April 27, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.

Trayes Hall, Douglass Campus Center
Supported in part by the Sagner Family Foundation

towersIt is well known that between the years 1480 and 1530, during the Spanish Inquisition, some 2,000 Jewish converts to Christianity met death at the stake. It is also well known that in 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain and that the official justification for the expulsion was that Jews were corrupting converts. According to Paola Tartakoff, professor of Jewish studies and history at Rutgers University, it is less widely recognized that over one hundred years prior to the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition, Jewish converts were already being prosecuted for judaizing, and Jews were already being accused of attempting to bring converts back to Judaism. Tartakoff will present new research on this "inquisition before the inquisition," focusing on the gripping case of a fourteenth-century convert from Aragon who accused a group of Jews of pressuring him to return to Judaism.

RSVP by April 16.
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