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Religions 2017, 8(11), 252; doi:10.3390/rel8110252

“For the Salvation of This Girl’s Soul”: Nuns as Converters of Jews in Early Modern Italy

Department of History, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
Received: 5 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
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Abstract

This article argues that converting Jewish girls and women constituted an important expression of Italian nuns’ religiosity throughout the age of Catholic Reform. Unlike their male counterparts, however, converting nuns rarely left behind accounts of their conversionary efforts. Moreover, since these endeavors were directed exclusively at female Jews they are often obscured in the historical record and in modern historiography. The article tackles the difficulties of recovering the voices of converting nuns and presents examples that suggest how they could be circumvented. Exploring the potential of drawing on previously understudied texts, such as nuns’ supplications, the article calls for the integration of this specific manifestation of female devotion into the scholarship and teaching on women’s religious life in the early modern era. View Full-Text
Keywords: conversion; nuns; monastic enclosure; Council of Trent; Tridentine reforms; Jewish-Christian relations; Houses of Catechumens; forced baptism; Early Modern Italy; convent education conversion; nuns; monastic enclosure; Council of Trent; Tridentine reforms; Jewish-Christian relations; Houses of Catechumens; forced baptism; Early Modern Italy; convent education
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Herzig, T. “For the Salvation of This Girl’s Soul”: Nuns as Converters of Jews in Early Modern Italy. Religions 2017, 8, 252.

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