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Divided SoulsConverts from Judaism in Germany, 1500-1750$
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Elisheva Carlebach

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300084108

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300084108.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 22 November 2019

Writing the Divided Self

Writing the Divided Self

Convert Autobiography

Chapter:
(p.88) Chapter 5 Writing the Divided Self
Source:
Divided Souls
Author(s):

Elisheva Carlebach

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300084108.003.0006

This chapter looks at conversion narratives, which are shown to have played a prominent role along with the other elements of successful conversions in various traditions. It first looks at the literary traditions that were unified due to the creation of these narratives, followed by a section on how some Jewish converts managed to include their childhood within their narrative. From here the chapter moves on to discuss the secret doubt that existed within the converts about Judaism, the way the converts viewed the conversion process, and the exorcism of Jewish demons shortly after the sermon. Next, it studies name changes, the breaking away of all former familial and communal connections, and the Christians' view of every Jew as a possible apostle and a way to serve as a bridge to other Jews. The chapter ends with an example of how some converts used narratives as justification, communicate real travels to enter Christianity and leave Judaism, and the creation of convert identities.

Keywords:   conversion narratives, Jewish converts, childhood, secret doubt, conversion process, exorcism, name changes, convert identities, Christianity, Judaism

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