• The Assimilation of Spain’s Moriscos: Fiction or Reality?

    The proponents of the expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain not only argued that the Moriscos, in the more than one hundred years that had elapsed since their conversion, had not assimilated to the majority Castilian Catholic culture, but that they were incapable of doing so. As a result, the expulsion was both inevitable and necessary. This view has dominated studies on the Moriscos since their expulsion four hundred years ago. In this article I aim to show that some groups of Moriscos had assimilated or were well on the road to assimilation, and that in their case (and that of others too) the expulsion was a human tragedy that was neither inevitable nor necessary.

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  • Anthony O’Mahony and John Flannery, eds. The Catholic Church in the Contemporary Middle East: Studies for the Synod for the Middle East. London: Melisende, 2010, 352 pp.

    Anthony O’Mahony and John Flannery, eds., The Catholic Church in the Contemporary Middle East: Studies for the Synod for the Middle East. London: Melisende, 2010, 352 pp.

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  • Papal Bulls and Converso Brokers: New Christian Agents at the Service of the Catholic Monarchy in the Roman Curia (1550-1650)

    This paper analyzes the presence of the New Christian minority within the system of curial agencies, a key structure for the interests of the Catholic monarchy in Rome. It was a stable network of agents that reflected the multiplicity of territories under the sovereignty of the Spanish Habsburgs and worked alongside the Spanish embassy to the Holy See. Factors explaining the significant converso presence and the curial dynamics behind the creation of the system of agencies are examined, illustrating the operation thereof through various case studies, with special attention to Portugal’s agency. A transversal approach is employed in the study of this system, which has been very poorly understood until now.