International Colloquium "Inquisition, Crypto-Judaism and Marranism"

The Belmonte Jewish Museum will host on 14th and 15th April the International Colloquium «Inquisition, Crypto-Judaism and Marranism». This is an initiative organized by António Bento, UBI’s lecturer and LabCom.IFP’s researcher. Names like Herman Prins Salomon, Carsten Wilke and Peter Nahon are included among the foreign participants. From Portugal, figure heads like Moisés Espírito Santo, Maria Antonieta Garcia, Elvira Meo, Susana Mateus, António Carlos Carvalho e Helena Cordeiro will generalize about the topic. The colloquium will be held in the context of “Judaica” (Jewish) - Film Festival and “Culturaque”, to celebrate its fourth birthday, this year it will be present at four locations (Lisbon, Cascais, Belmonte and Castelo de Vide), with different programs, for all tastes and ages.


14th April (Thursday)

9:00 am – Guests reception

9:15 – Opening Session

-      The Mayor of Belmonte

-      The President of the Jewish quarters network in Portugal

-      Organization

9:30 am – Inaugural Speech

Monique Benveniste:

-       «A Cátedra de Estudos Sefarditas “Alberto Benveniste”: Experiência e Balanço»

(«The Chair of Sephardic Studies "Alberto Benveniste": Experience and Balance»)

9:45 am

Moderator: Antonio Bento (University of Beira Interior)

Jorge Martins:

- «O Judaísmo em Belmonte no Tempo da Inquisição»

Judaism in Belmonte at the time of the Inquisition»)

Maria Antonieta Garcia:

- «Retalhos da Vida de Cristãos-Novos, na Beira»

(«Patchwork of New-Christians lives, in the Beira»

11:15 am – 11:30 am: break

11:30 am:

Moisés Espírito Santo:

- «A Festa da Senhora dos Prazeres (no Domingo da Pascoela) de Origem Cripto-Judaica» 

The Celebration of Senhora dos Prazeres (Lady of Pleasures) (on the Pascoela Sunday) of Crypto-Jewish origin»)

Heron Duarte de Almeida:

- «Porto Seguro nos Degredados Cristãos-Novos: o Judeu no Sertão Nordestino»

(«Safe Harbour in Banished New-Christians: the Jew in the North-eastern Hinterland»)

1:00 pm – Lunch

2:30 pm

Moderator: Tito Cardoso e Cunha (University of Beira Interior)

Elvira Azevedo Mea:

- «Inquisição no Século XVII: Uma Fábrica de Cristãos-Novos?» 

Inquisition in the 17th century: a Factory of New-Christians?»

Susana Bastos Mateus:

- «A Cristalização de um Perfil. Os Cristãos-Novos na Documentação Inquisitorial (1537-1548)»

The Crystallization of a Profile. The New-Christians in Inquisitorial Documentation (1537-1548)»

Teresa Cordeiro:

- «Os Cristãos-Novos da Cidade de Viseu (Séculos XVI-XVII): Problemáticas de uma Nova Diáspora»

(«The New-Christians in the City of Viseu (XVI-XVII Centuries): Problems of a New Diaspora»)

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: break

5:00 pm:

Moderator: José António Domingues (University of Beira Interior)

Herman Prins Salomon:

«Menina e Moça: A Penúltima Vítima Cristã-Nova Assassinada pela Inquisição Portuguesa (Évora, 31 de Agosto de 1760)»

(«Menina e Moça: the Penultimate New-Christian Victim Murdered by the Portuguese Inquisition (Évora, August 31st 1760»)

6: 00 – Closure

6:30 pm:

Municipal Auditorium: «Judaica» opening session – Film and culture festival - Belmonte

-  Presentation of the book "Boas Fadas que te Fadem" (In MemoriamAntónio Monteiro Cardoso)

- Display of the documentary "The Disobedient Consul - Exile in Portugal" by Uli Jürgens (45 min)

Cacher products tasting

8:00 pm – Dinner


15th April (Friday)

9:00 pm: José Maria da Silva Rosa (University of Beira Interior) 

Carsten L. Wilke:

- «El Secreto de los Doctores: En Torno a un Círculo de Académicos Criptojudíos en Lisboa, 1593-1614»

(«The Secret of the Doctors: Around a Circle of Academic Crypto-Jews in Lisbon, 1593-1614»)


Peter Nahon:

- «Aspects de la Religion Populaire des Israélites de Rit Portugais de Bayonne et Bordeaux»

Aspects of the Popular Religion of the Israelites of Rit Portuguese of Bayonne and Bordeaux»)

11:30 am

António Bento

- «Baptismo Forçado, Tipos de Conversos, Inquisição»

Forced Baptism, Types of Converts, Inquisition»)

António Carlos Carvalho:

- «Uma Questão (do) Inconsciente – Descobrir o Encoberto»

(«A matter of Unconscious/ An Unconscious matter - Discover the Covered»)

1:00: Closure

1:00 - Lunch

Colloquium Presentation

Michel Foucault’s method indication: «Historicism starts from the universal and makes it pass to some extent through the History’s grater. My problem is exactly the opposite. I begin from the decision, theoretical and methodological, which is the same as saying: let's assume that universals don’t exist. » It's as if to say: how can the historians write the «Inquisition History» if they don't admit a priori that there is something like the «Inquisition», the «Old Christian», the «new Christians», the «Judaizers», the «Converts», the «Crypto-Jews», the «Marranos»?

And Michel Foucault continues: «instead of beginning from the universals in order to deduce concrete phenomena out of them, or instead of beginning from the universals as an intelligibility grid for some specific practices, I would like to start from these specific practices and, in some ways, to transpose the universals to those practices grid. Not to question the universals using the story as a critical method, but to begin from the decision of the universals’ inexistence so as to know which story can be made».

Trying to follow the working methods of historians as Reinhart Koselleck, Ernst Kantorowicz and Michel Foucault, this symposium, focusing on the inquisitions and the Iberian Peninsula judaisms, intends to begin exactly from the decision of the universals’ inexistence in the so-called «History of the Inquisition». So, whether they are understood and used either in a nominalist or in a realist way, the concepts used in the discussion of the various problems raised by the appearance of the Peninsular inquisitions do not occur at exactly the same time, equally and in the same places, they are not commensurable with one another, they are not always overlapped heuristically or technically and they are not always interchangeable in the politics of the several Iberian Peninsula kingdoms. In a word, the precise meaning of such concepts is not independent of the centuries, of the places and of the empirical contingencies - theological, political, economic, social – in which they appear and let themselves to be seen. The central idea of this colloquium is therefore to provide a clarification of the technical vocabulary available through an accurate analytical and historical distinction of some nuclear concepts in this area of knowledge: «inquisition», «conversion», «judaizers», «new Christians», «old Christians», «Jews», «public Jews», «Crypto-Jews», «converts», «marranos».

Open for more information

Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
União Europeia
Quadro de Referência Estratégico Nacional
Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade
Universidade da Beira Interior