Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

While a visiting professor at Brandeis University, the social historian, Silvia Arrom, invited me to lunch. She also offered to look over my manuscript beforehand. I welcomed a set of new eyes to help re orient the project. When we met, she handed me a copy with copious notes and one big idea. She saw Benedict Anderson’s...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-9

The subterranean networks of New World crypto-Judaism rarely thrived in isolation. Rather, these secret Jewish communities were connected through a complex web of familial, economic, and cultural ties to a global network of fellow conversos and openly professing Jews living throughout Europe and the Americas...

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1. Audience and Archive: Text, Context, and the Literary Construction of Experience

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pp. 10-30

The texts at the center of this study pres ent themselves as straightforward narratives with a clearly defined goal in mind. Montezinos’s Relación de Antonio de Montezinos reports to the Sephardic congregation of Amsterdam regarding his experiences with the Reubenites in South America and their message of hope to...

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2. “Hermanos en el Señor”: Spiritual and Social Fraternity and Paternity in Luis de Carvajal the Younger’s Spiritual Autobiography (New Spain, 1595)

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pp. 31-51

Luis rodríguez de carvajal was born into a New Christian family in 1567 in Benavente, a small Spanish town close to the Portuguese border. According to his own account, he was secretly introduced into his family’s crypto-Jewish practice during one Yom Kippur around his thirteenth birthday.1 While most of his family...

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3. A Prophetic Matrix: Motherhood, Sorority, and a Reimagined Sagrada Familia

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pp. 52-73

Luis’s mother and sisters are central players in his own story of spiritual enlightenment. The relationships he develops with them offer a window into understanding Luis’s complex acts of self-fashioning, but also deepens our understanding of the nature of family in the wider context of Mexican crypto-Judaism...

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4. Writing His Way into the Jewish People: Faith, Blood, and Community in Manuel Cardoso de Macedo’s Vida del buenaventurado Abraham Pelengrino

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pp. 74-97

The three autobiographical texts analyzed in this book highlight the centrality of family to crypto-Jewish activity in the early modern Sephardic Atlantic. The texts reflect the individual authors’ attempt at crafting narratives of spiritual community—of a sacred family composed of fathers and mothers and brothers...

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5. “All of Us Are Brothers”: Race, Faith, and the Limits of Brotherhood in the Relación of Antonio de Montezinos, alias Aharon Levi (1644)

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pp. 98-120

The case of Antonio de Montezinos’s Relación raises questions and explores themes that differ from those of Carvajal’s and Cardoso’s texts. In both Carvajal and Cardoso we encounter individuals whose spiritual development is deeply connected to their relationships with members of their families and with the various...

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Afterword

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pp. 121-124

One of my goals in writing the book was to show that the narratives of Carvajal, Cardoso, and Montezinos belong to both Iberian and Jewish culture. In fact, my reading of these works points to the ways that post-expulsion Sephardic society and culture and the wider Atlantic world were intimately related. Commercial...

Notes

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pp. 125-158

Bibliography

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pp. 159-168

Index

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pp. 169-178