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Inter-Culturality And The Sephardim

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Chapter Summary

There has always been an implicit understanding of cross-cultural interactions and connections, especially with reference to long-distance trade. This chapter discusses the new Christians as a distinct group. It explores ideas of culture and ethnicity as tools for defining who and what the new Christians were. It also explains what the borders of new Christian identity were, especially within the context of the phenomena of crypto-Judaism. The chapter problematizes the traditional approach to studying minority merchants in general, and the new Christians specifically, by asserting that historians should study the intersection of cultures and communities rather than particular trading communities in isolation. Historians have paid a great deal of attention to the study of minority groups and their particular cultures, as the surfeit of studies on the new Christians and the Amsterdam Sephardim exemplifies. However, there cannot be a minority group without a dominant group.

Keywords: Amsterdam Sephardim; cross-cultural interactions; crypto-Judaism; minority groups; new Christians; trading communities



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