Anti-jewish polemics and female stigmatization in renaissance ferrara

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This article delineates the connection between Duke Ercole I d'Este's attitude toward the Jews and his 'prophetic patronage' of Lucia Brocadelli of Narni at the turn of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It analyzes the writings of Ercole and two of his erudite protégés, who had participated in a religious disputation with a representative of Judaism held at his court and later promoted Brocadelli's fame as a saintly stigmatic. Examined in light of the conversionarysteps undertaken by Ercole during the last decade of his life, these writings reveal a profound preoccupation with the Jews' persistent rejection of the belief in Christ's Incarnation and Crucifixion. It thus elucidates the impact that the controversy and dialogue with Jews in Renaissance Ferrara had on Ferrarese civic piety, and on the promotion of specific traits of Catholic spirituality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-138
Number of pages26
JournalArchivio Italiano per la Storia della Pieta
StatePublished - 2012


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