This is a comparison and contrast analysis of “The Expulsion from Spain, 1492” and “The Chinese Rites Controversy”.
While going through the reading this week I noticed that the biggest sources of tension is the merging of religion and government. As I was reading “The Expulsion from Spain, 1492”it seemed as though the Jewish people were highly persecuted by the Catholics of Spain, Portugal, Fez, Berber and the Genoa’s. Spain with King Ferdinand who had first banished them from the country and taking over the land that the Jews owned. This was the time of the Spanish Inquisition in which any person not a Christian was in great peril, due to the torture and being burnt at the stake for being a heathen.
In Portugal they were fleeced and were allowed to stay there for a few months then forced to leave. In Fez and Berber, they would not even let them in the cities in Northern Africa, thus many Jews died outside the wall. The few that escape to the north were robbed and treated horribly by the Genoans, who were more like pirates than anything. A few of the Jews of the time did find safety in the northern African country of Tlemcem only because it was a Jewish kingdom. More of the Jews made it to Naples, Italy where the king took them in and helped the refugees out. Even those who disliked the Jews (The Dominican Brotherhood) took pity on them there. More of the Jews were taken to Turkey where they were received as artisans.
In comparison to the Jews, the Christians subject of the sultan could sell their children into slavery. This was not like the type of slavery The US had through the 19th century. People did this because they had very little money and it was better than selling them to a lord. These slaves were educated and armed. All though they were taught from the Koran instead of the Bible. Of course during this time period, the Muslims were the best educated. These slave became some of the Sultans most trust advisors.
The conflict between the Confusionist of China and the Catholics of the Europe was there conflicting ideologies. This very apparent in “The Chinese Rites Controversy”. The early Jesuits told the Emperor of china at the time that if they converted to Christianity that they would be able to practice their own rituals. Unfortunately, Pope Clement the XI was a bit power hungry and did not want them to practice the rituals. This lead the Emperor to ban the rhetoric of religion from the country.
So as you can see Religion played a big rule in the politics of the period. From the Spanish Inquisition to the Christian slaves in turkey all the way to the early 18th century where Catholic Pope tried to rule over Christian convert four thousand miles away. We still see these sort of conflicts in today’s society as well. Though they come in different forms and in different countries. Will we as the human race ever let go of the negative parts of religion? I would like to think it is possible.