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Spanish Inquisition and Conversos

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By InSearchOf - Posted on 24 February 2010

Some interesting info:

By David M. Gitlitz
University of Rhode Island
(edited from an interview by David Rabinovitch)
"The End of ToleranceSpain had an enormous Jewish community in the middle ages and toward the end of the 14th century large numbers of them were converted to Catholicism. A “converso” is literally someone who was formerly Jewish and is now Catholic.
They converted for all kinds of reasons. Some of them were forced; some of them went willingly into Catholicism. The term converso was applied not only to the generation that converted but also to their children and their grandchildren and on down through the generations..."
"The Spanish Inquisition officially had no jurisdiction over Jews. It only had jurisdiction over Catholics. Once a Jew had converted and accepted the waters of baptism then they were officially Catholic and it was the job of the Church to ensure that they were fully believing, fully practicing Catholics and that they shed their Jewish beliefs and customs. The Inquisition was focused on that."
David M. Gitlitz is a writer, former provost and currently Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Rhode Island.
David Gitlitz holds a B.A and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He divides his time among research on three broad areas:
the Golden Age of Spanish literature, Spanish-Jewish history, and pilgrimages. He has authored or co-authored several books on Hispanic literature, Sephardic history, and pilgrimage, including:
Secrecy And Deceit: The Religion of the Crypto-Jews.
Culled from Inquisition documents, David Gitlitz documents the religious customs of the Iberian Jews who converted to Catholicism, largely under duress, in the 14th and 15th centuries in Spain, Portugal, and their American colonies.
A Drizzle Of Honey: an Inquisition cook-book.
Forced to convert to Catholicism during the Inquisition, many Jews inSpain kept alive their culture and identity in secret. Their food traditions have been re-created in these recipes, which are mingled with stories about the people who created them.


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