In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Preaching Paul to the Moriscos: The Confusión o confutación de la secta mahomética y del Alcorán (1515) of “Juan Andrés”
  • Ryan Szpiech

In 1487, a Muslim faqīh, or religious jurist, found himself in a cathedral in Valencia where, he claims, he heard a sermon that had a profound, catalyzing effect on him. His eyes were opened to the truth he felt he was missing, leading him to seek conversion to Christianity and to change his name to “Juan Andrés”. “Juan” tells the story nearly thirty years later in the opening to his Castilian anti-Muslim polemic Confusión o confutación de la secta Mahomética y del Alcorán (Confusion or Confutation of the Muhammadan Sect and of the Qur’ān), a little-studied but influential anti-Muslim treatise published in 1515.1 In his opening narrative, Juan inserts his personal history into a description of the Muslim conquest of Iberia: [End Page 317]

[E]l falso propheta Mahoma . . . con sus malvados compañeros . . . començó a desviar las simples gentes de la cierta vía y fin de salvación . . . y dende, por sus califas y successors, passaron y convertieron toda la África y de allí las Spañas, y occupáronlas quasi todas y juntamente la ciudad de Xátiva, donde yo después de muchos años fuy nacido y instruydo y enseñado en la secta mahomética por Abdalla, mi natural padre, alfaquí de la dicha ciudad, por cuya muerte succedí yo en su oficio de alfaquí, en que mucho tiempo estuve perdido y desviado de la verdad, fasta que en el año de 1487 . . . a desora los resplandescientes rayos de la divinal luz . . . removieron y esclarescieron las tenieblas de mi entendimiento y luego se me abrieron los ojos de la ánima. Y por la noticia que tenía en la secta mahomética claramente conoscí que no por aquélla, como perversa y mala, mas por la santa ley de Christo se conseguía el fin de salvación para que los hombres fueron creados. E demandé luego el baptismo.

(89)

After his conversion, Juan was, he claims, sent to Granada by the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabel to preach and try to convert Muslims remaining there after the conquest of 1492, working under the direction of inquisitor Martín García, bishop of Barcelona (d. 1521). As part of his mission, he states, he composed the Confusión, a vicious attack on Islam based on Islamic sources.

While the name “Juan Andrés” appears in a list of canons of the Cathedral of Granada from around 1516, no other testimonies of the author’s life and existence are known (Marín López 438). Gerard Wiegers, who considers the issue of authorship to be “crucial” for the interpretation of the text, has raised the vexing question of whether the “Juan Andrés” who claims to be the author of the Confusión could actually be shown by any other means to be a real person (“Review” 258–60; Cf. “Moriscos” 589 n6). Recent studies by Jason Busic (88) and Consuelo López-Morillas, in her recent edition of manuscript 235 of the Biblioteca de Castilla-La Mancha (a Romance Qur’ān copied in 1606, possibly on the basis of an earlier model), treat Juan as an existing figure. López-Morillas, moreover, argues that Juan displays certain knowledge of Muslim exegetical traditions, and notes numerous suspicious parallels between the characteristics attributed to the author of the Confusión and the Mudéjar author, ‘Īsā ibn Jābir (Yça de Segovia, fl. 1450), author of the Breviario Sunní: both claim the title of faqīh, both allegedly translated [End Page 318] the Qur’ān into Romance, both make use of Muslim tafsīr with a preference for similar authors, both divide the text into four parts in the same way and at the same division points, etc. (El Corán 43–44). At the same time, she also notes that the Confusión includes different Qur’ān translations than those found in manuscript 235, which might represent a copy of Yça’s text.

In...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 317-343
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-19
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.