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Divine Punishment for Spain: Muslims' Role among Jewish Messianism, Dominican Prophecies, and the Jewish-Indian Theory

Thu, March 22, 9:00 to 10:30am, Hilton Riverside Complex, Kabacoff Room


After the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, prophecies of an imminent destruction of Christian Spain circulated among Jews and conversos in the Iberian peninsula. In this presentation I will investigate the connection and the exchange of prophetic and messianic themes among Christians and Jews in Early Modern Spain. I will use the prophecy of the divine punishment and destruction of Spain by the Muslims as a paradigmatic example of this interaction. Taking as a starting point the research of Marcel Bataillon, Alain Milhou, Richard Popkin and David Ruderman, I will show the Jewish messianic meaning of this prophecy in the 15th and 16th centuries. Moreover, I will point out the centrality of this prophecy in the so-called Jewish-Indian Theory, a widespread belief in the Christian orbit that claimed that the American Indians were of Jewish origins and came from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.


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