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

By Ariella Lang

This booklet explores how the bills of conversion to the Catholic Church supply an strange political opinion with critical ramifications in the course of the Risorgimento. This booklet makes a speciality of feminist opinions of globalization and eu id formation and examines altering stipulations of cultural creation and their outcomes for a ecu public sphere. It discusses diplomacy, improvement and migration, and the degrees of transformation of democratic associations and practices.Examining numerous newspapers, novels, and inquisition trials, Lang demonstrates how the debts of conversion to the Catholic Church offer an strange political opinion with critical ramifications within the shaping of nationwide Italian identification in the course of unification.

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However, Angelo Tagliacozzi’s wife was clearly not interested in converting—at least not at first. The wife, “after being obstinate for a period of about fifteen days,”45 agreed to convert. Most likely her “obstinacy” was overcome by the fact she was pregnant with the couple’s fifth child who, the rector records, was born at two o’clock in the morning on February 1. Because the woman was pregnant when the papal police brought her to the Catechumens, the usual waiting period of three weeks, after which time “obstinate” Jews were released and returned to the ghetto, was ignored.

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.

Such a separation generally had economic implications, since it usually signified a loss of the head of the family and hence the family’s main breadwinner; it also led to legal marital separation, since, if a spouse refused to convert, the Church sanctioned a divorce between this individual and the person who underwent baptism. In one such case, a twelve-year-old Roman Jewish boy, Isacco Biondi, “presented himself” at the “Pious House” for conversion. According to practice, Rector Filippo Colonna refused to permit the Biondi parents to visit their son; rather, he used the boy’s baptism to try to convince the boy’s mother and father to convert as well.

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