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Anti-Semitic Propaganda and Pedagogy: Fear Mongering in the Centinela contra Judíos

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Chapter Summary

The anti-Semitic conspiracy theory the 'Jewish plot', looms large in the Centinela contra Judíos. The conversos of the Centinela are not helpless victims of inquisitorial persecution and social ostracism inflicted upon them by the wider 'Old Christian' population in Spain. The infiltration of ecclesiastical institutions by judaizing conversos was a source of great alarm. The image of the Inquisition that emerges from the Centinela is one that is diametrically opposed to its notorious reputation outside of the Iberian Peninsula. Francisco de Torrejoncillo expended over two hundred pages of prose (and even some verse) in his effort to persuade his readers that the judaizing of the conversos was so deeply rooted and their inclination to evil so deep-seated that there was no hope of ever turning them into genuine converts to Christianity.

Keywords: anti-Semitic conspiracy theory; Centinela contra Judíos; Christianity; conversos; Francisco de Torrejoncillo; Iberian Peninsula



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