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Toward the Inquisition

B. Netanyahu (Cornell University Press: January 1998), 272 pages.

One of the world’s foremost scholars in the fields of Spanish and Jewish medieval history, B. Netanyahu revolutionized accepted belief concerning the causes of the Spanish Inquisition in his magisterial volume of 1995, The Origins of the Inquisition. Locating that origin not in the supposed persistence of Judaism among the New Christians but in a concession the kings were forced to make to powerfully anti-Jewish popular sentiment, he radically altered the whole landscape of Hispano-Jewish studies. Toward the Inquisition is another major contribution to this historiographic revolution. Made up of seven of Netanyahu’s essays, published over the last two decades and collected here for the first time, it further illuminates Jewish and Marrano history from the mid-fourteenth century to the end of the fifteenth century. The essays throw light on such long-obscured phenomena as the rise of the Nazi-like theory of race which harassed the conversos for three full centuries, or the abandonment of Judaism by most conversos decades before the Inquisition was established. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • The Racial Attack on the Conversos    1
    • Alonso de Espina: Was He a New Christian?    43
    • Did the Toledans in 1449 Rely on a Real Royal Privilege?    76
    • The Conversion of Don Samuel Abravanel    99
    • Sanchez-Albornoz’ view of Jewish History in Spain    126
    • The Historical Significance of the Hebrew Sources concerning the Marranos    156
    • The Primary Cause of the Spanish Inquisition    183
    • Abbreviations    202
    • Notes    203
    • Bibliography    253
    • Index    259