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The Morisco question: Methodology and historiography

Abstract

This essay offers an introduction to the history of the Moriscos, as well as an overview of recent scholarship on the subject. It is written with students and non-specialists in mind.

Kimmel, Seth. “The Morisco Question: Methodology and Historiography.” History Compass, vol. 17, no. 4, April 2019, e12526, https://doi:10.1111/hic3.12526.

The first half of this essay offers an introduction to the history of the Moriscos, from their forced conversion from Islam to Christianity in the early 16th century to their expulsion from the Crowns of Castile and Aragon in the early 17th century. The Morisco period begins a decade after the fall of Nasrid Granada in 1492, which brought the centuries‐long history of al‐Andalus to a close, but which did not, however, mark the definitive end to Iberian Islam. Although some Moriscos came to embrace Christianity, a significant portion of the Morisco community found ways privately to maintain aspects of their Muslim identity even while publicly participating in the life of the Church. This was a state of affairs that aroused the interest of the Spanish Inquisition, as well as a host of other civil and ecclesiastical authorities. The second half of this essay focuses on recent scholarship that draws connections between this community of peninsular New Christians and broader debates in both the early and late modern periods about interreligious relations, religion and governance, and the mass movement of peoples across political borders.

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