Second Prize – ‘Jewish-Christian Differentiation in the 14th and 15th Century Iberian Peninsula’ by Molly Smith

emilio-sala-francs-expulsion-of-the-jews-1889

Jewish-Christian Differentiation in the 14th and 15th Century Iberian Peninsula

The paper by Molly Smith shows how in the 1492 Edict of Expulsion of the Jews from Medieaval Spain, Christian authorities employed three deliberate methods of differentiation to distance themselves from the Jewish population and incite a sense of justification for their forced removal. In the rhetorical shifts from spatial differentiation to moral differentiation to intrinsic differentiation, the authors of the Edict assigned an increasing level of agency onto the Jewish population as a means to pursue harsher action against them. While there were historical precedents for the actions highlighted in the Edict, the order of increasing severity emphasizes a calculated demonization of the Jewish population.

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