Forced Conversion in Christianity, Judaism and Islam

I just received a library copy of the incredible new work on forced conversions, titled, Forced Conversion in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. This work explores the legal and theological grounds through which Christians, Jews, and Muslims sanctioned and reacted to forcible conversion in premodern Iberia and related settings.

I had first come across Mercedes García-Arenal as I was writing my own dissertation at the Spertus Institute. She had written on the Moriscos, i.e., forced Muslim converts to Christianity, and I was interested in the parallels to the Converso experience among Jews.

This new work includes essays by David Nirenberg and Ram Ben Shalom who have written extensively on the conversions of 1391 and Crypto-Jewish identity.

Regarding the authors:

Mercedes García-Arenal is Research Professor at the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council), and historian of religion and culture. She is the PI of ERC Advanced Grant CORPI (Conversion, Overlapping Religiosities, Polemics and Interaction).

Yonatan Glazer-Eytan is a Ph.D. candidate in History at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently completing a dissertation on the crime and cult of sacrilege in early modern Spain.

The only downside to the volume, is that as a university publication, the cost is prohibitive for most people. The material so far is excellent and for those who can purchase, the link is below.

Forced Conversion in Christianity, Judaism and Islam


Posted by Rabbi Dr. Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez the director of the B’nei Anusim Center for Education. He is the author of The Converso Dilemma: Halakhic Responsa and the Status of Forced Converts

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