Converting a Nation: A Modern Inquisition and the by Ariella Lang

By Ariella Lang

This ebook explores how the money owed of conversion to the Catholic Church offer an strange political opinion with severe ramifications throughout the Risorgimento. This booklet specializes in feminist reviews of globalization and ecu id formation and examines altering stipulations of cultural construction and their effects for a eu public sphere. It discusses diplomacy, improvement and migration, and the degrees of transformation of democratic associations and practices.Examining quite a few newspapers, novels, and inquisition trials, Lang demonstrates how the debts of conversion to the Catholic Church supply an strange political opinion with severe ramifications within the shaping of nationwide Italian identification in the course of unification.

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The Jews were accused of violating natural and civil law, of teaching their community members to use force against the Church, and thus of violating the most sacred rights of the Church. ”14 The distinction between believer and nonbeliever, between Christian and non-Christian, is underscored in this text. The differentiation between the Italian-speaking Vatican forces and the Hebrew-speaking Jewish community members, the Rewriting the Jew in Restoration Italy 39 rector’s description of his escape, and of the fracas that the Jews made, all compounded the anti-Jewish stereotypes that were already expressed quite openly in Church writings of the time and were evident in the writings surrounding the Labani affair as well.

6 Like territorial expansion, conversion proved the dominance of the Catholic religion both as a religious and cultural system. In addition, the ideology of conversion lies at the center of Vatican attempts to counter the territorial conquests of other powers and the secularization that generally accompanied such victories. While the Church lacked the power to expand its geographical borders, expanding the Christian community was one response it could execute. The Vatican, interested in reinforcing its bonds to Western civilization and in promoting Catholicism in newly conquered colonies in Africa and elsewhere, had a Rewriting the Jew in Restoration Italy 33 particular interest in the Italian peninsula, which was the center of its power and the symbol of Catholic hegemony.

Complaints such as these not only reflect the disgruntlement of the author; they also provide evidence of the widely accepted view that revolution, the French occupation, and efforts at religious equality threatened the Catholic culture of the Papal States. Another form of resistance can be seen in those who withstood the pressures of confinement within the Catechumens. Indeed, despite the vast repercussions facing those who were being offered—and others who were either brought by force to the House of Catechumens or came of their own will and had a change of heart—records demonstrate a significant number of Jewish men and women who refused baptism.

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