The Converso as subversive: Jewish traditions or Christian libel?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Examines the view of Jewish converts as emissaries to the non-Jews, sent by God to teach the non-Jews about Judaism and to help the Jews in times of trouble, as explicated by Don Isaac Abravanel (adapted from Maimonides), and by rabbis in the 16th-17th centuries. This view sees Conversos as important and necessary for the Jewish people to advance in the Christian and Muslim worlds and to bring them to recognize the one and only God as the Jews see and worship Him. There are philosophical and mythological texts describing Christians and Muslims (from the foundation of their religions and through the Middle Ages) as such secret convert-emissaries. Discusses, in particular, the text of "Toledot Yeshu" ("The Life of Jesus").
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-283
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Jewish Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Especially on Abrabanel's attitude toward the Conversos.

RAMBI Publications

  • Rambi Publications
  • Abravanel, Isaac -- 1437-1508
  • Conversion -- History
  • Crypto-Jews -- Spain -- History
  • Jews -- History -- Middle Ages, 500-1500
  • Toledot Yeshu -- Criticism, interpretation, etc


Dive into the research topics of 'The Converso as subversive: Jewish traditions or Christian libel?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this