From Christian polemic to a Jewish-converso dialogue

Yosi Yisraeli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article presents a new reading of the polemical strategies and arguments embodied in the "anti-Jewish" tractate by the converted bishop of Burgos, Pablo de Santa Mariá (c.1352-1435), the Scrutinium scripturarum (c.1432). It suggests the Scrutinium reflected a unique polemical dynamic that emerged between converts and Jews following the mass conversions of 1391 and the early fifteenth century, regarding the spiritual assimilation of converts to their new faith. Grappling with the new challenges faced by converts, the Scrutinium articulated a Christian approach toward rabbinic traditions and Jewish skepticism that differed dramatically from the scholastic-polemical traditions that were employed at the disputation of Tortosa. Its introduction of rabbinic esotericism provided its Latin-reading audience new historical and theological grounds for the integration of rabbinic authority within Christian scholarship and history. In doing so, it embodied what could be considered a distinct "converso voice," which challenged the customary religious boundaries between Judaism and Christianity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-196
Number of pages37
JournalMedieval Encounters
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


*  This research was supported by the I-Core Program Planning and Budgeting committee and the Israel Science Foundation (1754/12).

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1754/12
Israeli Centers for Research Excellence


    • Christian Hebraism
    • Christian Kabbalah
    • Christian mission
    • Gerónimo de Santa Fe
    • Maimonidean controversy
    • Maimonides
    • Pablo De Santa Mariá
    • Scrutinium Sripturarum
    • The Tortosa Disputation
    • conversion
    • conversos
    • esotericism
    • philosophy
    • religious polemics


    Dive into the research topics of 'From Christian polemic to a Jewish-converso dialogue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this