The Handless Maiden
Moriscos and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Spain
By (author) Mary Elizabeth Perry
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Handless Maiden by Mary Elizabeth Perry
Book DescriptionIn 1502, a decade of increasing tension between Muslims and Christians in Spain culminated in a royal decree that Muslims in Castile wanting to remain had to convert to Christianity. Mary Elizabeth Perry uses this event as the starting point for a remarkable exploration of how Moriscos, converted Muslims and their descendants, responded to their increasing disempowerment in sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century Spain. Stepping beyond traditional histories that have emphasized armed conflict from the view of victors, The Handless Maiden focuses on Morisco women. Perry argues that these women's lives offer vital new insights on the experiences of Moriscos in general, and on how the politics of religion both empowers and oppresses. Drawing on archival documents, legends, and literature, Perry shows that the Moriscas carried out active resistance to cultural oppression through everyday rituals and acts. For example, they taught their children Arabic language and Islamic prayers, dietary practices, and the observation of Islamic holy days. Thus the home, not the battlefield, became the major forum for Morisco-Christian interaction. Moriscas' experiences further reveal how the Morisco presence provided a vital counter-identity for a centralizing state in early modern Spain. For readers of the twenty-first century, The Handless Maiden raises urgent questions of how we choose to use difference and historical memory.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691130545
(229mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 5-Feb-2007
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Mary Elizabeth Perry
Contesting Archives, Paperback (June 2010)
Demonstrates research on diverse women from the sixteenth century onwards in Spain, Mexico, Tunisia, India, Iran, Poland, Mozambique, and the United States. This book addresses gender, race, class, nationalism, trans-nationalism, and migration.
Gender and Disorder in Early Modern Seville, Paperback (July 1990)» View all books by Mary Elizabeth Perry
Exploring the crisis in Counter-Reformation Spain, this book reveals the significance of gender for social order by portraying the lives of women who lived on the margins of respectability - prostitutes, healers, visionaries, and other deviants who provoked the concern of a growing central government linked closely to the church.
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Author Biography - Mary Elizabeth Perry
Mary Elizabeth Perry is the author of two prize winning books, "Gender and Disorder in Early Modern Seville" (Princeton) and "Crime and Society in Early Modern Seville". She is Research Associate at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Adjunct Professor of History at Occidental College.
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