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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

The Montefiore Lecture 2017 Event

Claude Montefiore
14 February 2017
Lecture Theatre C, Avenue Campus, University of Southampton SO17 1BF

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Event details

Part of the Parkes Institute seminar/events programme 2016/2017

Adapting Religious Hatred for a New Readership: Continuity and Change in Anti-Jewish Propaganda Printed in Early Modern Europe

This lecture examines the role played by emotions in how the figure of the Jew was perceived and represented by early modern anti-Semitic polemicists. It argues that we need to re-examine and nuance the existing perception of the early modern period as one of bland continuity in European anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic polemics and discourse with the medieval period. With the advent of the printing press, the consequent mass production of books and pamphlets and increased lay literacy, a new type of vernacular polemical literature increasingly appeared in early modern Europe alongside the traditional ‘conversionist’ polemical literature. These new vernacular polemics were no longer concerned with the conversion of Jews to Christianity. Rather their explicit objective was to lobby secular and ecclesiastical powers to take action against Jews (usually persecutory legal measures or expulsions) by actively promoting fear and hatred of Jews amongst the lay population. The History of Emotions can provide us with a conceptual framework that will help us understand how and why the discourse of anti-Jewish hatred was altered and adapted by authors from Protestant northern Germany to Catholic Portugal to target their new readers.

Portrait picture of Dr François Soyer
Dr François Soyer

Speaker information

Dr François Soyer ,University of Southampton,Dr François Soyer is an Associate Professor in Late Medieval and Early Modern History as well as a fellow of the Parkes Institute at the University of Southampton, UK, and a Partner Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, Europe 1100-1800. His research focuses on anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim propaganda produced between 1450 and 1750. He has recently published the book 'Popularizing Anti-Semitism in Early Modern Spain and Its Empire: Francisco de Torrejoncillo and the Centinela contra Judios' (1674).

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