The Spanish Inquisition: To Maintain Ethnic Purity or Merely Religious Orthodoxy?

1805 Words 8 Pages
Racism is the belief that ethnicity is the primary determinant of human traits and that racial differences produce an inherent or natural superiority of a particular race over another.
While racism is a more modern term, the prejudice beliefs behind it have been apart of history since the beginning of time. In the 15th and 16th centuries Spain enacted one of the most studied inquisitions in history. The Spanish Inquisition consisted of some of the darkest days in Jewish history and contains some of Christianities most shameful chapters. Extensive research has revolved around this particular inquisition in the attempts to understand how a seemingly tolerant society could take such a radical turn. There are numerous ongoing debates as to
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Although hundreds of thousands were slaughtered, there were still a small number of Jewish communities that remained scattered across Europe. Many wonder why they were even tolerated at all, however Jews did have their purpose within the Christian community. Many believed that it was God who allowed them to live, as they served as a sign that the Old Testament did exist and their existence proved to those who questioned Christianity, the validity of the New Testament. Their poverty and exclusion from society stood as an example of the punishment one would receive should they refuse the Christian church. Although they attempted to rid the world of all other religious cultures, these early Christians were not racist in the modern sense of the word. Anti-Judaism was a dislike of the faith itself and not necessarily the people who practiced it. Many believed they were simply misinformed and the fact that they were willing to allow converted Jews to be assimilated into their society proves that they did not have an issue with the people racially. In the early years of medieval Spain; Christians, Muslims and Jews practiced a relatively peaceful coexistence. While they did not agree with one another’s religious practices and traditions, there was a certain level of tolerance for the other. Many Jews maintained upper class lifestyles, holding positions in such professions as medicine, law, and even royal and