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The fellowship of St.Diogo : new Christian judaisers in Coimbra in the early 17th century

Saraivade de Carvalho, Joao Manuel de Almeida (2005) The fellowship of St.Diogo : new Christian judaisers in Coimbra in the early 17th century. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Dr Antonio Homem was a respected teacher in the University of Coimbra, a Canon in the Cathedral and an illustrious scholar. He was also the heir of a long Jewish family tradition. His great-great-grand father lived and died as a Jew. His great-grandfather, his grandmother and two of his uncles were among his relatives to have been sentenced as judaisers by the Inquisition. His own father kept the Law of Moses, and taught it to all his children, without the knowledge of his wife, an Old Christian of noble lineage. His concern for the situation of the New Christians in Portugal eventually made him build up a congregation of judaisers, which he called the Fellowship of St Diogo as a tribute to a Capuchin friar who had been executed a few years earlier as an apostate and defender of the Jewish Law. His congregation grew to include over sixty people, including clerics, physicians, lawyers and students, as well as merchants and farmers. Its leader gave it a corpus of doctrine and eventually a distinctive liturgy, which showed influence from the Catholic Church. The Fellowship also inspired the creation of judaiser conventicles in three major Monasteries in the Coimbra district, where a relatively large number of nuns held cult meetings and paid homage to Friar Diogo as a martyr of the Law of Moses. After several years of activity, the Fellowship was investigated and dismantled by the Inquisition. Most of its members were arrested and sentenced. Dr AntOnio Homem was himself taken into custody, charged with heresy and apostasy, as well as sodomy (he was a known paederast), and finally handed over to the secular arm for execution. His dream of building up a judaiser community in Coimbra was shattered. The Fellowship members who survived either left the country and joined the orthodox Jewish communities in the Netherlands and elsewhere, or stayed in Portugal and gradually lost their Jewish consciousness. Descendants of some of them can still be found near Coimbra.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Modern Languages and Cultures (Leeds) > Spanish & Portuguese (Leeds)
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2010 12:07
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 10:27
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/502

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