Narratives from the Sephardic Atlantic

Narratives from the Sephardic Atlantic

Blood and Faith
Ronnie Perelis
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/21/2016
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-02401-5
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Identity, family, and community unite three autobiographical texts by New World crypto-Jews, or descendants of Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity in 17th-century Iberia and Spanish America. Ronnie Perelis presents the fascinating stories of three men who were caught within the matrix of inquisitorial persecution, expanding global trade, and the network of crypto-Jewish activity. Each text, reflects the unique experiences of the author and illuminates their shared, deeply rooted attachment to Iberian culture, their Atlantic peregrinations, and their hunger for spiritual enlightenment. Through these writings, Perelis focuses on the social history of transatlantic travel, the economies of trade that linked Europe to the Americas, and the physical and spiritual journeys that injected broader religious and cultural concerns into this complex historical moment.

Author Bio

Ronnie Perelis is the Chief Rabbi Dr. Isaac Abraham and Jelena (Rachel) Alcalay Chair and Assistant Professor of Sephardic Studies at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies of Yeshiva University.


“Engaging and very valid for readers interested not only in Jewish studies, but in history, and religious and cultural studies of the Early Modern Iberian and Colonial Latin American times.”
 — Lucia Costigan, author of Through Cracks in the Wall: Modern Inquisitions and New Christian Letrados in the Iberian

“Given its emphasis on the formation of identity through representation and performance, this book resides at a promising intersection between literary analysis, history, and cultural anthropology. Appealing and eminently usable as a teaching text.”
 — David Graizbord, author of Souls in Dispute

“The book will be of great interest to scholars of the colonial Iberian world, Jewish studies, and anyone interested in religion during the early modern era. . . . Highly recommended.”
 — Choice

Narratives from the Sephardic Atlantic offers original readings of both the much-discussed Carvajal manuscript and the less-studied works. Perelis does an expert job of fascinating the reader with the more remarkable aspects of the three texts while remaining firmly on scholarly ground.”
 — Bulletin of Spanish Studies

Narratives from the Sephardic Atlantic provides a fascinating introduction to the spiritual autobiographies and complicated religious paths of a number of Jewish authors in the early modern Sephardic Atlantic.”
 — AJS Review

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Table of Contents

1. Audience and Archive: Text, Context, and the Literary Construction of Experience
2. "Hermanos en el Señor": Spiritual and Social Fraternity and Paternity in Luis de Carvajal, el mozo’s Spiritual Autobiography (Mexico 1595)
3. A Prophetic Matrix: Motherhood, Sorority and a Re-imagined Sagrada Familia
4. Writing His Way into the Jewish People: Faith, Blood and Community in Manuel Cardoso de Macedo’s Vida del buenaventurado Abraham Pelengrino
5. "All of us are Brothers": Race, Faith and the Limits of Brotherhood in the
Relación of Antonio de Montezinos, alias Aharon HaLevi (1644)

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