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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Though Jews were almost entirely physically absent from England between the end of the thirteenth and the end of the seventeenth centuries, they were nevertheless the source of considerable interest. They served as a focal point for the volatile English–Spanish relations of the period. Their writings were extensively consulted in the controversy surrounding the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. In addition, with the fitful advance of the English Reformation, Jewish sources become increasingly important to confessional disputes and competing efforts at Bible translations. Throughout the period, the figure of the converted Jew came to embody anxieties about religious transformation and the political and economic treachery that came along with spiritual infidelity, even as providentialist and millenarian enthusiasts looked forward to Jewish conversion as a sure sign of the end of time.

Keywords: Jews, Judaism, conversion, Bible, confessionalization

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