"From New Christians to New Jews" by Matthew D. Warshawsky

"From New Christians to New Jews" by Matthew D. Warshawsky

Regular price
Sale price
Regular price
Sold out
Unit price

From New Christians to New Jews: Seventeenth-Century Spanish Texts in Defense of Judaism, by Matthew D. Warshawsky. 

In From New Christians to New Jews: Seventeenth-Century Spanish Texts in Defense of Judaism, Matthew D. Warshawsky studies diasporic New Christian authors of the 1600s and early 1700s to show how emergent or “New” Jews used literary language of Catholic Spain to communicate their experiences as conversos and, to varying degrees, former conversos. In six essays, the works of Isaac Orobio de Castro, João Pinto Delgado, Antonio Enríquez Gómez, Isaac Cardoso, Miguel de Barrios, and Daniel Israel López Laguna are analyzed, positioning the authors as Iberian and Jewish at a time when the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions prevented such identities from coexisting openly. The influences of these men’s upbringings in a religiously inflexible society are reflected through works that span open advocacy of Judaism to laments about injustice and suffering.

In the study of these texts, Warshawsky argues for greater recognition of their authors as exemplars of early modern transatlantic literature, whether they wrote letters and polemics common to religious debates, poetry whose genres typified the Spanish Baroque, including sonnets, epic poems, and narrative ballads, or an allegorical play that affirms not the Eucharist, but Judaism. Situating these texts as works of Baroque Spanish literature written outside the Inquisitorial sphere but reflective of its impact, From New Christians to New Jews shows how each author created an emergent Jewish sense of self, rooted in their knowledge of Spanish literary practices and of the Inquisitorial societies from which they came. That they did so across a wide geographical landscape and despite the eclipse of Judaism in Iberian lands at that time testifies to the reach and cohesiveness of this identity.

The Table of Contents includes:

1 “All True, All Holy, All Divine”: Jewish Identity in the Polemics and Letters of Isaac Orobio de Castro

2 “May Your Holy Inspiration Call Me in the Desert”: New Jewish and Baroque Identity in the Poetry of João Pinto Delgado

3 “There Is No Greater Nobility than Sublime Virtue”: Converso Identity in the Poetry of Antonio Enríquez Gómez

4 “One God, One People, and One Law”: Las excelencias de los hebreos of Isaac Cardoso as a Defense of Judaism through a Spanish-Portuguese Lens

5 “O Israel, If You Were to Return to God, How Quickly You Would Show Yourself Redeemed”: The Literary and Spiritual Journey of Miguel (Daniel Levi) de Barrios

6 “Your Grace, Lord, Will Sustain Me”: A Transatlantic Perspective on Psalms in Espejo fiel de vidas of Daniel Israel López Laguna

Matthew D. Warshawsky is professor of Spanish at the University of Portland. This is his third book with Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic Monographs. He has written articles in various journals addressing the literature and culture of Jews and conversos in the Iberian world.


Series: Estudios judeoespañoles «Samuel G. Armistead y Joseph H. Silverman», #10
ISBN 978-1-58871-405-3 (PB, 210 pp.) $45