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Cross-Generational Abuse

Priests, Parishioners, and the Catholic Church in New Spain

Zeb Tortorici

In 1785, in the northern colonial Mexican city of Zacatecas, a mulatto bricklayer named José Francisco Rodríguez denounced a resident priest to local commissaries of the Inquisition for coercing him during confession. Rodríguez was a married man

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Harm den Boer

This article deals with a famous work on philosophy written by Alonso de la Torre and its fate in the Western Sephardi diaspora. Torre most probably was a converted Jew; he wrote his book half a century after Spanish Jewry underwent a dramatic transformation due to the terrible massacres of 1390 and 1391 in the major cities of Spain and the ensuing conversions of many persecuted Jews. The intolerance that would ultimately lead to the Edict of Expulsion of the Jews of 1492 – and so to the origin of the Judeo-Spanish speaking communities in North Africa and the Ottoman Empire – profoundly changed Spain's cultural landscape, ending a centuries-long period of mutual cultural interaction. Yet, paradoxically, with the massive influx of the so-called Conversos into Spanish society, Christian culture also underwent changes, absorbing new experiences and influences. The Visión deleitable y sumario de todas las ciencias by Torre is a didactical work on philosophy and religion that had enormous success in Christian Spain, in spite of its large debt to the Guide of the Perplexed by the Jewish sage Maimonides. Reprinted many times in Catholic Spain, this work was also published in Italy and the Dutch Low Countries, in the communities of those Iberian Conversos who returned to Judaism. There has been huge speculation as to how the Visión deleitable was interpreted by both Christian and Jewish readers. Through a hitherto unstudied report by the Spanish Inquisition and an examination of the editions printed in the Western Sephardi diaspora (Ferrara and Amsterdam) I will offer some fresh reflections on the fascinating reception of this text in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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Israel Abrahams

Master Teacher of Liberal Judaism

Harvey Meirovich

Solomon Schechter departed England in the spring of 1902 to become president of the reorganised Jewish Theological Seminary of America. His post as Reader in Rabbinic and Talmudic Literature at Cambridge University was taken up by 44-year-old Israel Abrahams who remained at the post until his demise at age sixty-seven. Israel Abrahams hailed from a distinguished pedigree. His father Barnett Abrahams served as a Principal of Jews’ College but died from rheumatic fever before his thirty-third birthday. Israel’s mother, born Jane Rodrigues Brandon, traced her family tree to fugitives from the Spanish Inquisition

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Book Reviews

Jewish Secularism on the March

David J. Goldberg, Stephen Berkowitz, Frank Dabba Smith, and Marc Saperstein

The Origins of Jewish Secularization in Eighteenth-Century Europe, Shmuel Feiner, translated by Chaya Naor. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, 330 pp.

Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought, David Biale, Princeton University Press, 2011, 228 pp.ISBN 0812242734

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea?: French Jewry and the Problem of Church and State, Zvi Jonathan Kaplan, Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 2009. 148 pp. ISBN 1930675615

Rediscovering Traces of Memory: The Jewish Heritage of Polish Galicia, Jonathan Webber, and Chris Schwarz, Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2009.200 pages ISBN 1906764034

Secret Judaism and the Spanish Inquisition, Michael Alpert, Nottingham: Five Leaves Publications, 2008.ISBN: 1905512295, 262 pages

Child Survivors of the Holocaust in Israel: ‘Finding their Voice’, Sharon Kangisser Cohen, Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2005.

The Scandal of Kabbalah: Leon Modena, Jewish Mysticism, Early Modern Venice, Yaacob Dweck, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011, 280 pp. £?? ISBN 978–0–691–14508–2.

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Marc Saperstein and Ruth Scott

well. A second questionable statement occurs on the same page: ‘The most intensely surveilled people in the late medieval world were Jews who had been forcibly converted to Christianity’. Here Lipton is speaking about the Spanish Inquisition. But those

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Daniel Lord Smail

’s intestines around a spool, and even hanging, which was a slow racking and strangulation rather than a quick breaking of the neck. Sadistic tortures were also inflicted by the Christian church during its inquisitions, witch hunts, and religious wars. Torture

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The Exceptions to the Rule

Jews in Shakespeare’s England

Cynthia Seton-Rogers

Marranos left England in the 1540s due to increased scrutiny under the Inquisition in Lisbon and in 1553 when Mary I returned England to Catholicism. The Anglo-Jewish population began to flourish, however, under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558

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Getting Medieval on Steven Pinker

Violence and Medieval England

Sara M. Butler

table books” about the Inquisition, as well as the website of an Italian torture “museum” that purports to have a lofty but decidedly ahistorical goal. The museum’s website declares with pride that “the horror aroused in our visitors viewing the

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Whitewashing History

Pinker’s (Mis)Representation of the Enlightenment and Violence

Philip Dwyer

with specialists in the field; even when he does, he seems to ignore their findings. For example, Pinker claims that 350,000 died during the Spanish Inquisition. This is wrong: the historiography of the last 20 years shows the Inquisition was not as

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Anna Bara and Sveta Yamin-Pasternak

insertion and foreign crusades directed at the spread of the religion, on the one hand, to forceful prohibition and suppression of what was perceived as various forms of magic, including via such extreme forms as the Inquisition, on the other hand. The