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Heresies in the Home: Morisca Women and the Spanish Inquisition
Date of Award
Department or Program Affiliation
Master of Arts (MA)
The sixteenth century in Spain was a century of redefinition of religion and religious orthodoxy which terminated in the expulsion of the morisco community of Spain in 1609. Moriscos, former Muslims who were converted to Christianity and their descendants, faced severe persecution from the Spanish Inquisition and the records that their heresy trials leave behind are revealing. This thesis focuses on women who were tried by the Inquisition for morisco related heresies, with a goal of understanding the ways that morisca women adapted and survived in a climate where both Muslim religion and Islamic Iberian culture were outlawed. Particular attention is paid to individual trials of moriscas and what these trials can tell us about the lives and religious practices of these women. Previous scholarly work on the topic of moriscos has largely focused on the group as a whole, with less regard to gender. This thesis argues that moriscas faced unique and specific challenges as women and adapted to them in distinct ways. By understanding the ways in which moriscas navigated a rapidly changing Spanish Empire, we can develop a deeper understanding of the religious climate of sixteenth century Spain and bring to light a group that has received relatively little scholarship within the field of religious history.
Spanish Inquisition, Religious History, Moriscos
Western Washington University
Subject – LCSH
Inquisition--Spain; Moriscos--History; Muslim women--Spain--History; Spain--Religion--16th century
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Van Aken, Nathan, "Questioned Identity: Morisca Women and the Spanish Inquisition" (2023). WWU Graduate School Collection. 1193.