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The Religious Debate in Spain

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Chapter Summary

The Expulsion of the Moriscos raised a serious doctrinal issue since it involved deporting Christians to Islamic lands where it was obvious that they would, voluntarily or otherwise, renege on their Christian beliefs and embrace the Muslim faith. It is important to bear in mind the European political context within which the religious debate reached its apex of highest tension, between 1580 and 1609. This chapter examines the idea of the continuity of Islam among the Moriscos. The view of the most radical "exclusionists" was that the Moriscos as a whole should be considered Moors, i.e. Muslims, and thus apostates and heretics. By denying that the Moriscos could ever be Christians, the conclusion drawn was that they should be excluded from the Christian republic, and in particular from the lands of its firmest pillar, the Catholic Monarchy of Spain.

Keywords: Catholic Monarchy; Christian beliefs; Expulsion; heretics; Islam; Moors; Moriscos; religious debate; Spain



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