Ronnie PerelisDr. Ronnie Perelis is the Chief Rabbi Dr. Isaac Abraham and Jelena (Rachel) Alcalay Chair, associate professor of Sephardic Studies at Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and director of the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Program for International Affairs. On October 22, 2018, he gave a talk at the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, titled “Beyond Blood: Cross-Cultural Encounters in Inquisitorial Mexico.”

Dr. Perelis noted that “inquisition prisons were often the sites of transformative cross-cultural encounters. Conversos accused of secretly keeping their ancestral Judaism, witches, protestants, missionaries and other spiritual misfits were often placed in the same prison cell; people of radically different ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds would spend long periods of time together sharing ideas while suffering the difficulties of prison life.” Participants looked at several instances of these cross-cultural encounters both inside and outside the prison space to better understand the limits of blood and faith in the formation of identity.


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