Spain’s Returning Jews

The last 150 years have seen a chequered but eventually triumphant reintegration of Jews into a society whose heritage they helped to mould, says C.C. Aronsfeld

Spain's progress during the past century and a half has been largely her emancipation from the stern rule of the Catholic Church. Here the Holy Inquisition survived until long after the French Revolution; here the Church stood (in Raymond Carr's words) 'as a symbol of Spain's distance from cultivated Europe', and her struggle to overcome this distance was 'the whole debate of the nineteenth century'. The freedom of worship which the Roman Syllabus of Errors (1864) solemnly condemned as the 'pest of indifferentism' was to be granted to all, for the denial of that freedom was seen as the root cause of Spain's decline.

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