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A Question of IdentityIberian Conversos in Historical Perspective$
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Renee Levine Melammed

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195170719

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195170717.001.0001

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The Expulsion and Its Consequences

The Expulsion and Its Consequences

(p.33) 2 The Expulsion and Its Consequences
A Question of Identity

Renee Levine Melammed (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The rationale for the expulsion of the Jews from Spain was ostensibly because they exerted a negative influence on the baptized conversos. In truth, Jewish-converso relations during the fifteenth century were extremely complicated. In 1492, the reluctance of so many Jews to abandon their homeland led them to choose baptism, creating a new group of New Christians far more knowledgeable about Judaism than the descendants of the conversos of 1391. At the same time, some of the Jews who chose exile subsequently regretted their decision; those who opted for baptism between 1492 and 1499 formed a group of returnees. At the turn of the century, a Judaizing messianic movement transpired in Spain that resulted in increased inquisitorial activity.

Keywords:   expulsion from Spain, Jewish-converso relations, baptism, exile, returnees (1492–1499), Judaizing, messianic movement

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