Forced Baptisms (Hardcover)

Histories of Jews, Christians, and Converts in Papal Rome

By Marina Caffiero, Lydia Cochrane (Translated by)

University of California Press, 9780520254510, 336pp.

Publication Date: December 1, 2011

List Price: 85.00*
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This book makes use of newly available archival sources to reexamine the Roman Catholic Church’s policy, from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, of coercing the Jews of Rome into converting to Christianity. Marina Caffiero, one of the first historians permitted access to important archives, sets individual stories of denunciation, betrayal, pleading, and conflict into historical context to highlight the Church’s actions and the Jewish response. Caffiero documents the regularity with which Jews were abducted from the Roman ghetto and pressured to accept baptism. She analyzes why some Jewish men, interested in gaining a business advantage, were more inclined to accept conversion than the women. The book exposes the complexity of relations between the papacy and the Jews, revealing the Church not as a monolithic entity, but as a network of competing institutions, and affirming the Roman Jews as active agents of resistance.

About the Author

Marina Caffiero is Professor of History at the University of Rome ”La Sapienza.” She is the author of many books and editor of Sources for Women’s History. Lydia G. Cochrane has translated many books for university presses.

Praise For Forced Baptisms: Histories of Jews, Christians, and Converts in Papal Rome

“This absolutely splendid research is destined to be a hallmark of scholarship in years to come.”

— Catholic Library World