Sephardic Philo- and Anti-Semitism in the Early Modern Era: The Jewish Adoption of Christian Attitudes

  • Gordon M. Weiner
Part of the Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 138)


A unique situation arose beginning in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when Sephardic Jews who left Spain and Portugal encountered central and east European Jews from whom they had been separated for over fifteen hundred years. In Europe, their initial reunion was laden with reactions characteristic of Spanish anti-Semitic racial policy which somewhat bizarrely they accepted. However, this was also the age of Philo-Semitism, and it will also be shown that when Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews encounter one another in a frontier atmosphere, as was the case in Ireland, Brazil and the English colonies in the New World, a more tolerant attitude developed among them.1 This essay will document the philo- and anti-Semitic attitudes of Jews during the early modern reunification in Europe and frontier areas, and it will attempt to explain the opposing responses according to the natural, social and religious environments in which the reencounters occurred.


Seventeenth Century Jewish Community Jewish History Poor Relief Synagogue Membership 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

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  • Gordon M. Weiner

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