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The Unconverted SelfJews, Indians, and the Identity of Christian Europe$
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Jonathan Boyarin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226069197

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226069142.001.0001

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Until the Conversion of the Self

Until the Conversion of the Self

(p.19) Chapter One Until the Conversion of the Self
The Unconverted Self
University of Chicago Press

Throughout the period including the later Middle Ages and the initial period of conquest overseas, conversion in Latin Christendom was intended not only to draw non-Christians to the Church but also to achieve the perfection of the Christian individual. During the later Middle Ages, Iberia was characterized by conflict and creative interaction, as well as active separation between Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Christians who were sensitive to questions of the sincerity of conversion in an age that had already grown more introspective, wondered whether a Jew could become wholly Christian. Meanwhile, the field of Christian autonomy was constrained by the resistant rhetorics and practices of Jews and Indians, with a profound impact on the particular forms that Christian Europe took in the post-medieval era. The ideal of stasis was central to notions of redemption in early and medieval Christianity. This chapter looks at the period from the twelfth through the sixteenth centuries as a time of powerful development and transformations in Christian European understandings of selfhood and identity.

Keywords:   Christian Europe, Middle Ages, Christianity, conversion, Jews, stasis, selfhood, identity, Iberia, Christians

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