Bernardini - Chapter 07
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Marrano Religiosity in Hispanic America in the Seventeenth Century
WHAT IS MARRANO RELIGIOSITY? We can legitimately discern among
New Christians throughout the Iberian world beliefs and practices
that indicate the persistence of a possible crypto-Judaism. But does it suffice
merely to make an unquestioning inventory of such elements? For
indeed, the range of beliefs held by New Christians was not limited to the
clandestine pursuit of more or less impoverished Judaizing practices.
Hence, we must avoid using the reductive schemas of an apologetic history
and instead restore to marrano religiosity its full measure of complexity
and diversity. We must cover a broad spectrum between two
poles — that of actual fervent Judaists and that of sincere Christians — with
a whole series of intermediate cases and syncretic combinations.