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Converso

From Academic Kids

Converso (Spanish for "a convert", from Latin conversus, "converted, turned around") and its feminine form conversa referred to Jews or Muslims or the descendants of Jews or Muslims who had converted, sometimes unwillingly, to Catholicism in Spain, particularly during the 1300s and 1400s.

See the main articles:

  • Morisco for New Christians of Moorish origin.
  • Marrano for New Christians of Jewish origin. The term marrano is especially used to refer to Crypto-Jews, i.e. those who secretly continued to practise Judaism.

Jewish conversos were often suspected of preserving their ancestral rites in this way and were an especial target of the Spanish Inquisition, but they contributed disproportionately to cultural and political life in Spain and included Saint Teresa of Avila and, it was alleged, the Grand Inquisitor Toms de Torquemada himself. See also Donmeh.

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