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New Christian (Spanish: cristiano nuevo; Portuguese: cristão-novo; Catalan: cristià nou) was a law-effective and social category developed from the 15th century onwards, and used in what is today Spain and Portugal as well as their New World colonies, to refer to Sephardic Jews and Muslims ("Moors") who were forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism.[1][failed verification][citation needed] This was the Inquisition version. According to António José Saraiva, a famous or "Emeritus" Portuguese Literature Teacher and Historian:"The only reality of the dichotomy between Old and New Christian only existed in the Inquisitorial taxonomy. The religious or ethnic definition of the new Christians was, in the last analysis, merely formal and bureaucratic. In addition, the label of the New Christian can be based on rumors originating from dubious genealogies, slander and intrigue. "[2] It was developed and employed after the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula by the Catholic Monarchs.[1]

By law, the category of New Christians included not only recent converts, but also all their known baptized descendants with any fraction or quantum of New Christian blood up to the third generation, being the fourth generation exempted.

In Phillip II's reign it included any person with any fraction of New Christian blood "from time immemorial".[3]

In Portugal, it was only in 1772 that Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquess of Pombal, finally decreed an end to the legal distinction between New Christians and Old Christians.

Contents

New Christian as a legal categoryEdit

Although the category of New Christian is meaningless in Christian theology, it was nevertheless introduced by the Old Christians who claimed "pure unmixed" Spanish Christian bloodlines in order to distinguish themselves as a unique group, separated from ethnic Jews and Iberian Muslims.[1]

The Old Christians wanted to legally and socially distinguish themselves from the conversos (converts to Christianity),[1] who they considered to be tainted by virtue of their non-Spanish bloodlines, even though in the case of Muslims, the overwhelming majority of Spain's Muslims were also of indigenous Iberian stock, themselves the descendants of native Iberians who earlier converted to Islam under Muslim rule.[4]

In practice, for New Christians of Jewish origin, the concept of New Christian was a legal mechanism and manifestation of racial antisemitism, being a prejudice against Jews as a racial/ethnic group, rather than Judaism as a religion. For those of Moorish origin, it was a manifestation of racial anti-Berberism and/or anti-Arabism.

Cleanliness of blood and related conceptsEdit

The related Spanish development of an ideology of limpieza de sangre ("cleanliness of blood") also excluded New Christians from society — universities, emigration to the New World, many professions — regardless of their sincerity as converts.

Other derogatory terms applied to each of the converting groups included marranos (i.e. "pigs") for New Christians of Jewish origin,[1] and moriscos (a term which carried pejorative connotations) for New Christians of Andalusian origin.[1]

Discrimination and persecutionEdit

Aside from social stigma and ostracism, the consequences of legal or social categorization as a New Christian included restrictions of civil and political rights, abuses of those already-limited civil rights, social and sometimes legal restrictions on whom one could marry (anti-miscegenation laws), social restrictions on where one could live, legal restrictions of entry into the professions and the clergy, legal restrictions and prohibition of immigration to and settlement in the newly colonized Spanish territories in the Americas, deportation from the colonies.

In addition to the above restrictions and discrimination endured by New Christians, the Spanish Crown and Church authorities also subjected New Christians to persecution, prosecution and capital punishment for actual or alleged practice of the family's former religion.

After the Alhambra Decree of expulsion of the Jewish population from Spain in 1492 and a similar Portuguese decree in 1497, the remaining Jewish population in Iberia became officially Christian by default. The New Christians, especially those of Jewish origin, were always under suspicion of being judaizantes ("judaizers"), that is, apostizing from the Christian religion and being active crypto-Jews.

EmigrationEdit

Jewish "New Christian" emigrationEdit

Despite the discrimination and legal restrictions, many Jewish-origin New Christians found ways of circumventing these restrictions for emigration and settlement in the Iberian colonies of the New World, by falsifying or buying "cleanliness of blood" documentation, or attaining perjured affidavits attesting to untainted Old Christian pedigrees. The descendants of these, who could not return to Judaism, became the modern-day Christian-professing Sephardic Bnei Anusim of Latin America (it is only in the modern era that a nascent community, the Neo-Western Sephardim, is currently returning to Judaism from among this population).

Also as a result of the unceasing trials and persecutions by the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition, other Jewish-origin New Christians opted to migrate out of the Iberian Peninsula in a continuous flow between the 1600s to 1800's towards Amsterdam, and also London, whereupon in their new tolerant environment of refuge outside the Iberian cultural sphere they eventually returned to Judaism. The descendants of these became the Spanish and Portuguese Jews (also known more ambiguously in the Netherlands as Spanish and Portuguese Jews, among other names elsewhere).

Muslim "New Christian" emigrationEdit

Although Iberian Muslims were protected in the treaty signed at the fall of Granada, and the New Christian descendants of former Muslims weren't expelled until over a century later, even so, in the meantime, different waves of Iberian Muslims and New Christians of Moorish origin left and settled across North Africa and the Ottoman Empire.

History of New Christian conversionsEdit

SpainEdit

Throughout the Middle Ages, Sephardim (Iberian Jews) and Moros (Iberian Muslims) sometimes converted to Christianity, usually as the result of coercion: physical, economic, and social pressures.[dubious ][citation needed]

In the 14th century there was increasing pressure, especially against the Jews, that culminated in the riots of 1391 in Seville and other cities in which many Jews were massacred. These riots caused the destruction of the Aljamas (Jewish quarters) of the cities and sparked many conversions, a trend that continued throughout the 15th century.

PortugalEdit

Introductory Note by Professor António José Saraiva

The reading of this subject at a glance, refers immediately to the understanding: "The only reality of the dichotomy between Old and New Christian only existed in the Inquisitorial taxonomy. The religious or ethnic definition of the new Christians was, in the last analysis, merely formal and bureaucratic. In addition, the label of the New Christian can be based on rumors originating from dubious genealogies, slander and intrigue. "In the book" Account of the Cruelties exercised by the inquisition in Portugal, 1708 "the author writes that" the New Christian label is based in mere presumptions, padded and swollen with inventions and lies. " The latter, being a book that does not identify the author is not properly accepted, but that of its analysis provides "logic" with descriptions that in their evaluation correspond, interconnect, hidden missing facts, in the form that the Inquisition reported the procedures. [5]

António José Saraiva reviewed his work five times, with discussions of decades with other authors as I.S. Révah, having in his last revision presented moderately a vision that will carry forward the study of such a complex subject, being antisemitism. The first consequence of history is to inform, educate, so that the mistakes of the past do not repeat themselves. Neither Jesus Christ defended the cataloging of human persons, individuals, their persecution, whether by skin color, religion, culture, etc. , but rather the understanding and brotherhood among individuals of the human race. The Portuguese Inquisition advocated extirpating Jews for the heresy of practicing their own religion, and thus, to purify Portuguese Catholicism did indeed have other ends. The result would be the opposite in inculcating people to Judaism, who were not, making the Inquisition in a "Factory of Jews". The "New Christian" was socially co-extensive to the mercantile middle-class Portuguese that the feudal Portuguese of the upper society did not want to tolerate. The victims of the Inquisition would amount to forty thousand, so categorized, that they were mostly distinct Christians, devotees, partially but fictionally with Jewish ancestry. That was his only crime. The procedure of the Portuguese Inquisition was not designed with the conception of distinguishing Guilty from Innocents, considering any defenders, once categorized as "New Christians", some Judaizers.[6]

The "Marranos" was a term that would fall into disuse for the "New Christians," and the word "Jew" took over the accusatory function, many authors having combined or combined the designations in such a complex story. This was the ostensible justification since 1536 and would last for 230 years. [4] Who were the Jews? Who were the Inquisitors? Even today it is a puzzle full of paradoxes. One of the authors, Julio Caro Baroja, was based on the "authenticity" of the inquisitorial documents, which does not imply its veracity, and did so with a Marxist point of view, which António José Saraiva does not use.[7]

There was a mistrust between Hellenists and Judaism, and of the various tendencies and conjugations that would best be Hellenic Christianity. From then on, only two religions would dispute souls, as the author would say: Judaism and Christianity. An important detail is that the born religion preferred to join Jews, what is true even to the Apostle Paul.

Several Roman Emperors persecuted Christians as anti-Romanesque (see the story of St. Sebastian). In 313 the Emperor Constantine was converted to Christianity and would become the official religion of the Empire. Jews existed in the Iberian Peninsula from before Christianity.

In 409 they invaded to the Iberian Peninsula several barbarian tribes, Germanicos Swabi, Vandals, Alanos following the Visigodos that were allies of the Romans, establishing the Hispano-Visigothic Kingdom. The Visigothic Kings were Aryans. The First German-Roman Emperor would be Alaric II, who initiates persecutions to Jews, passing by the Council of Toledo in 633, and in the 6th council applies the "Placitum" that distinguished or guarded the converted Jews to the Christianity, until the 6º degree of kinship or consanguinity until the invasion of the Moors in 711. The reconquest was then given and persecutions continued, modifying some characteristics until in the reign of John II (1425-1454) they would reach Peace. At the end of the fifteenth century he would return to Spain.[8]

According to António José Saraiva, Firstly, the decree dated March 19, 1497 ordered that all children under the age of 14 be extirpated from their families and baptized, not knowing how many were returned to their Fathers after the General Conversion of June 1497. Another decree promulgated later on May 13, 1497, excepted for a period of 20 years, the investigation of Jews who converted to Christianity.[9] It would, however, spur boom in the Catholic Church and the People, which would originate judgments of people who were not Jewish or just because they had some Jewish ascendant, which was often false. The Inquisition was provided with six witnesses who, either because they feared for life and their relatives, others chosen for the trial to take place according to the Inquisitorial pretensions, in many cases did not present facts and it was enough to proclaim "the doubt" about the accused. Interestingly enough, the "accused" were not given the accusers' knowledge. They did not know the witnesses who were not revealed to them, what facts they enunciated, making the defense of an accusatory process almost impossible. This theme will be addressed in the "First Portuguese Inquisition Regiment-in the year 1552", "Second Regiment of Portuguese Inquisition-year 1613", "Third Regiment of Portuguese Inquisition-year 1640".[10]

The Preachers chosen in the Courts of Holy Office were usually chosen in the newly created Orders: Dominican Friars, and Jesuits.[11]

Unlike the other Iberian kingdoms, Portugal was not much affected by the waves of riots. However, there, the Jews remaining on Portuguese soil were forcefully converted in 1497, after which New Christians became a numerous part of the population.

New Christians, both Portuguese and Spanish, played an important role in LatinAmerica. They formed a considerable percentage of encomenderos and were among the first to capitalize on theexport of Cuban sugar.[12]

InquisitionEdit

The governments of Spain and Portugal created the Spanish Inquisition in 1478 and the Portuguese Inquisition in 1536 as a way of dealing with social tensions, supposedly justified by the need to fight heresy. Communities believed correctly that many New Christians were secretly practising their former religions to any extent possible, becoming crypto-Jews and crypto-Muslims.[13][14]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Tarver, Micheal; Slape, Emily, eds. (2016). The Spanish Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia. 1. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. pp. 210–212. ISBN 978-1-4408-4570-3.
  2. ^ António José Saraiva. The Marrano Factory: The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians 1536-1765. Netherlands: BRILL.
  3. ^ "Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review, Volumes 17-18". Simon Bronner. 1995.
  4. ^ Hughes, Bethany (2007). When the Moors Ruled Europe. Princeton University. The people who were being thrust out were as native to the peninsula as the Christian kings. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  5. ^ António José Saraiva. The Marrano Factory: The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians 1536-1765. Netherlands: BRILL.
  6. ^ António José Saraiva. The Marrano Factory: The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians 1536-1765. Netherlands: BRILL. p. IX.
  7. ^ António José Saraiva. The Marrano Factory: The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians 1536-1765. Netherlands: BRILL. p. XXI.
  8. ^ António José Saraiva. The Marrano Factory: The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians 1536-1765. Netherlands: BRILL. p. XXI.
  9. ^ António José Saraiva. The Marrano Factory: The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians 1536-1765. Netherlands: BRILL. p. 12.
  10. ^ António José Saraiva. The Marrano Factory: The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians 1536-1765. Netherlands: BRILL. p. 42 49.
  11. ^ António José Saraiva. The Marrano Factory: The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians 1536-1765. Netherlands: BRILL. p. 108.
  12. ^ Yedida K. Stillman, George K. Zucker, "New Horizons in Sephardic Studies" University of New York Press (1997) pp112
  13. ^ Stephen Gilman, The Spain of Fernando de Rojas; the intellectual and social landscape of "La Celestina", Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1972, ISBN 0691062021.
  14. ^ William Childers. "'Según es cristiana la gente': The Quintanar of Persiles y Sigismunda and the Archival Record", Cervantes, journal of the Cervantes Society of America, vol. 24, no. 2, 2004 [2005], pp. 5-41, https://web.archive.org/web/20100705071410/http://users.ipfw.edu/JEHLE/cervante/csa/articf04/childers.pdf, retrieved 11/17/2014.

Further readingEdit

  • António José Saraiva (2001). The Marrano Factory: The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians 1536-1765. Netherlands: BRILL.
  • J. Lúcio de Azevedo (1989). História dos Cristãos Novos Portugueses. Lisboa: Clássica Editora.
  • Böhm, Günter. "Crypto-Jews and New Christians in Colonial Peru and Chile." In The Jews and the Expansion of Europe to the West, 1450-1800, edited by Paolo Bernardini and Norman Fiering, 203-212. New York: Berghahn Books, 2001.
  • Costigan, Lúcia Helena. Through Cracks in the Wall: Modern Inquisitions and New Christian Letrados in the Iberian Atlantic World. Leiden: Brill, 2010.
  • David M. Gitlitz (1996). Secrecy and deceit: the religion of the crypto-Jews. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. ISBN 0-8276-0562-5.
  • Novinsky, Anita. "A Historical Bias: The New Christian Collaboration with the Dutch Invaders of Brazil (17th Century)." In Proceedings of the 5th World Congress of Jewish Studies, II.141-154. Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 1972.
  • Novinsky, Anita. "Some Theoretical Considerations about the New Christian Problem," in The Sepharadi and Oriental Jewish Heritage Studies, ed. Issachar Ben-Ami. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1982
  • Jorun Poettering (2013). Handel, Nation und Religion. Kaufleute zwischen Hamburg und Portugal im 17. Jahrhundert. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ISBN 978-3-525-31022-9.
  • Pulido Serrano, Juan Ignacio. "Plural Identities: The Portuguese New Christians." Jewish History 25 (2011): 129-151.
  • Quiroz, Alfonso W. "The Expropriation of Portuguese New Christians in Spanish America, 1635-1649." Ibero-Amerikanisches Archiv 11 (1985): 407-465.
  • Rivkin, Ellis. "How Jewish Were the New Christians?," in Hispania Judaica: Studies on the History, Language, and Literature of the Jews in the Hispanic World, vol. 1: History, eds. Josep M. Solà-Solé, Samuel G. Armistead, and Joseph H. Silverman. Barcelona: Puvil-Editor, 1980.
  • Rowland, Robert. "New Christian, Marrano, Jew." In The Jews and the Expansion of Europe to the West, 1450-1800, edited by Paolo Bernardini and Norman Fiering, 125-148. New York: Berghahn Books, 2001.
  • Salomon, H.P. Portrait of a New Christian: Fernão Álvares Melo (1569-1632). Paris: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 1982
  • Uchmany, Eva Alexandra. "The Participation of New Christians and Crypto-Jews in the Conquest, Colonization, and Trade of Spanish America, 1521-1660." In The Jews and the Expansion of Europe to the West, 1450-1800, edited by Paolo Bernardini and Norman Fiering, 186-202. New York: Berghahn Books, 2001.

External linksEdit