PURITY AND CONTAGION
language of purgation – start afresh, indoctrinate their young.
Christians, muslims, and Jews in spain
- Muslims have crusading mentality – Reconquista (Christian armies) as a result.
- In the middle ages, you have the muslims and Christians living in a Convivencia (a coherent
arrangement) – the Jews have no real identity between the two.
- As Christians expand, they want to control and fear of contagion becomes prevalent; try to force Jews
to convert (1390s forced bapitsms), or expelled. Converted Jews are called conversos – now they
have same rights and privileges as Christians. The Christians become anxious on where their loyalities
lie because they still practice jewish elements such as names, clothing, food.
- Have to get rid of them/identify false converts through Spanish Inquisition. People are given fines,
sign of vetos, prisoners, others burned – burn corpses, fire as purgation. Purge the city from that
person whether witch, heretic, dead or alive, you’re a purgation in the city.
- Roots the Judaism out of them – they have no political shape thus look like a contagion. Spanish
nobles become obsessed with genealogies; prevent Jews from holding key positions. Expulsions in
- Moriscos – muslims to Christianity, live double life as well.
- Doc: ferdinand’s Surrender Treaty of Granada – give up sovereignty of land. Moors rebelled,
protections of treaty become void.
- 1567 – phillip II issued edict making it illegal to use Arabic.
Containment of Jews in venice
- Space within the walls is corpus Christianum space – don’t want the Jews living in holy space they can
come during the day to trade, but leave at night so they can be pure. Used anti-semantic language
that the Jews were lending $ to the poor at high prices.
- City govt needed them for capital so containment vs. co-existence – placed them in ghettos with
- Something you enclose because they are threatening or threatended. The ppl you enclose for their
own protection like nuns, the sick.
- Deciding the best way to keep a church pure is watching who goes in it. baptizing babies becomes
part of the corpus christianum.
- Reformers: if you're baptized by your parents what does that mean to you? You’re hearts and minds
aren’t in it therefore solution is adult baptism – be selective.
- Becomes controversial because they feared for the baby’s soul if they died from disease – becomes a
form of “vaccinating my child”.
- Adult baptism as a threat because you’re endangering others in the community if your infant isn’t
baptized. It expels the demons and brings protection from the church over the child. Your citizen
rights were contingent on being part of the church.
- Doc: Grebel to Muntzer – purge from ancient customs. Babies aren’t grown up in our broken
nature, therefore its senseless to baptize them and contrary to scripture.
- Radicals refashioning Munster to Zion – believe if they’re in a pure community, no sinful ppl. Use the
language of being separate – need to create a landing pad for when Christ comes back. Reject notion
of gov’t because they’re only in place to keep the sinful ppl in check and since they’re pure they don’t
have to be subject to the state. - Luther’s theology is about purgation and reforming the catholic church – there’s something pure in
the Christian faith that has to be recovered through purgation – uses scripture to get rid of opposing
- Doc: compares catholic church to Babylonians - Rhetoric of bondage; focus’ on things that are
material. By clergy telling you have to do sacraments, they dictate who gets in to heaven (they
referee the game). Luther’s point is that they protect their own privileges – you have to come their
way. if you read the bible and you tell them they’re doing it wrong, they’ll say you interpreted it
- Doc: Concerning Christian liberty - Presents dichotomy between precepts in Old testament (on
works, body, and service) with promises in the New testament (faith, righteousness).
- Death caused by black death viewed also as God’s judgement. If ppl truly repent, this would advert
the plague. There are natural reasons, but mostly God’s anger. The death imprint and revisits their
minds (combination of plagues and feminine). Handle a plague with purgation.
EXILE + PERSECUTED BECAUSE OF BELIEF + CITIES OF REFUGE
- Rhetoric: imaginary landscape of the mind – these aren’t crimes anymore, defined by society at the
- In this period, emergence of religious refugees as a mass phenomenon. Hundreds of thousands of
people getting pushed out, some ‘voluntary’.
- Doc: the letter on the cruelty of the turks - Friar Giano demonizes them saying the fate of the world
is being jeopardized. The turks are the anti Christ but the turks are also God’s judgement against us.
If we were better Christians, God wouldn’t send this against us.
- When we’re struck by plagues it’s because we’ve been bad.
- The external threat is Islam to the end of 16 c because of expanding presence in 800s – took all of
spain and south of france.
- “song of roland” – stories about Christian knights. Rhetoric of Christianity will triumph over all. Had to
tell it in literature because it wasn’t happening in real life.
- When they talk about the enemy, they talk about the turk – they personified this threat.
- Janssaries = young Christian boys were taken and forced to convert to muslim. When you're fighting
against their troops, you're fighting your own children. Feel besieged and powerless against the
threat – now the fear within.
Heretics, witches, Jews
- Heretic = someone who doesn’t go along with the dominate view of the church. One generation’s
heresy is the next generation’s orthodox – defined by opposition. E.g. Cathars – rejected institutions
of church. Said you had to live a pure life, rejected Christ became human.
- Hussites (followers of John Huss): believed people should read the bible in their own language –
rejects indulgences. They challenge church structure -0 church authority that stands between church
and God. Lay people should have access to scripture + God. Threat because church institution
believed no salvation outside of the church and what they provide.
- Witches; in the 15 C, ppl will come to fear the devil more and associate witches him. They infect the
body thus dangerous – seen as undermining Christian society by damaging crops, fertility, etc.
- Doc: Malleus Malefacirium (1486) – text shows how to identify + prosecute (and accomplices).
Comes down to women’s lust that they form a pact with the devil – his secret agents. Seen as a
portal in which demons enter society. - as idea develops, steretypes of them flying, collecting male genitals, and because the devil has no
blood witches seek it through babies before baptism.
- Jews; identified through witches & prostitutes. Black death in 1348 had rumours of Jews spreading
the plague + generated by economic and health crisis. Economic resentment and religious hatred
combined to enforce the conversion to Christianity and would lead to the fragmentation of Jewish
- The Black Death sparked a demonic rumour that Jews poisoned the water in the wells and rivers to
purge the population of Christians due to the observation that there was less death among the Jewish
- Christianity decides what space they have for Jews. Rhetoric around Jews become religious, causality
comes from economics and politics. Baptism protects the child (before unprotected), that’s why they
are after Christian blood (fictissious)
- Blood libels - Simon of Trent: This story was based on Simon of Trent in Italy who disappeared in a
Jewish community right at the time of Easter. His father accused the Jews of draining his blood for
their rituals. The popularity of this blood libel case echoed in the mindset of the Christians because
his body was found in the cellar of a Jewish family home.
- Had accusatorial system -community has to have evidence + oaths. Then changed to trial-by-ordeal –
God is the judge. Could pick up hot items or thrown into lake and God would determine your
innocence or guilt. Followed by inquisitorial system – formal laws of inquiry + evidence. Treason
develops as a offense = harms the state (heresy harms the church)
- Doc: Jerome of Prague – follower of Huss. He gets into trouble, recants then recants his recantation
(back to being a heretic). The church can imprison and give penalties within Canon Law but can’t
- For Jerome, they declared his ideas injuries to the church. If he confessed, he’d recognize his errors.
He was led by intellectual pride.
- Doc: judgment of a witch – same element of accused is already found guilty and trial is just a
formality. The lady confesses but the threat could still be there and has to be punished for what
she did – damage of crops, fertility, animals, etc. She made a pact with the devil. She can’t undo her
physical damage (women’s nature to do evil).
- They fear the sex and punish the gender. Jerome’s trial was in a church council amongst men. Her’s
was public for every common person. Used class (poverty) as her temptation. Greater target because
the devil uses poor widows (they watched how she operated going back 31yrs – justification through
Cities of refuge
- In each city, the refuges become central to booming economy with connection and capital.
- Salonika; taken by Ottomans in 15 C, move muslim population there, allow Christians to come back
but theres mosques now. Jews invited to come when they get expelled from spain, population triples
as a result. What happens: a greek city gets controlled by muslims, then Jews who speak Spanish.
Ottomans want order and income, not interest in conversion – use milit system (appoints internal
gov’t, person oversees taxes, obedience, uphold respect to muslims) so the ottomans don’t have to
deal directly. Communities are kept separate geographically (appoint religion figure). Converted Jews
raise some tension, they turn into economy center.
- Geneva; shaped militarily like Salonika. Savoy tries to besiege them cause they have small population.
Geneva makes a deal with Bern (let their preachers preach there and join the reformation in turn for
protection). Becomes a calvinst refugee center as his profile rises with French, Italians, English, germans. Calvin shook the social structure that was dead prior – adapt milit system. You usually don’t
leave and flee if you didn’t have things to protect. Geneva becomes divided; politically run by
Genevians, religiously by outsiders.
- Amsterdam; small port city that goes through every reformation movement. Munster isn’t far,
everyone is thinking Christ is coming, got to get ready. Radicals are active everywhere. Becomes
calvin reform center once defeated. Develop economy as a result of spain defeating the dutch,
people move in and become 1/3 of pop. Dutch remained in control – not into conversion, just keep a
low profile (toleration of religious groups).
RELIGIOUS + ECCLESIASTICAL LIFE BEING CHALLENGED (demands of reformers)
- Standard reformation narrative; conflict b/w religion and state and who has the ultimate power +
- Starts with luther who stands up for truth, individual consciousness, free will. Before you had a
catholic church that was invested with $ not deep piety.
- Religion as a individual thing; you look for truth or nothing. In the past, God looked for you, you look
for God now. Before he was your judge (you feared and respected him) not necessarily your friend
- Emergence of Corpus Christianum (body of Christ); 1. Jesus as a person. 2. Communion – taking Christ
into ourselves. 3. Community – body of believers
- Rupture in relationship b/w man and God since the Fall, goal is to heal it. Doctrine
Luther - Church under the state - About purgation and reforming
Radicals - Separation of church and state, - Purity
Calvin - Church and state work side by - About being sure you’re in.
side but separate
- Prot view: within cath, salvation is an ongoing process to purify yourself for heaven. For prot,
salvation is a one time thing. you come to an understanding of Christ – you accept his death and
that’s it, you don’t need to revisit it. you are saved; no indulgences or pilgrimages. Salvation in
following the Gospel. You can’t get it right but you try to improve – Christ accepts your desire to do
- Radicals – emphasis to improve. Calvinsts – elections (predestined, onetime thing)
- Cath view: only way to get to heaven within the church, provides the tools to get to heaven, no
salvation outside the church. Believed in works of satisfaction - the things you have to do to clean
yourself e.g. charity, indulgences, and pilgrimages. Provides incentive to do good.
- Luther responds by saying they’re bringing it down to $ and forcing God’s hand which you can’t do.
- Doc: Erasmus’ Members of one body – your ultimate identity should be of the body of Christ no
matter what diversity. The Corin