Royal Decision-making and Religious Minorities
Lecture reflects how the treatment of religious minorities changed in Late Medieval Iberia
This lecture will look into the different elements that triggered royal decision-making concerning religious minorities in Late Medieval Iberia. The Christian-ruled territories in Iberia, were the only area of Latin Europe apart from Sicily where cohabitation regulations affected not only Jews, but also Muslims, regulated normally by royal law. The reception of the canons of the IV Lateran Council (1215) in Castile, which will be taken as the case-study, was delayed by the monarchs until the mid-fourteenth century despite repeated reprimands from local synods.
The great change in this respect came in 1412, when the ordinances issued at the Cortes of Valladolid marked a milestone in royal legislation about minorities in Castile. This corpus of 24 laws was drawn following the preaching of Saint Vincent Ferrer, famous for his sermons about the conversion of Jews. They influenced the treatment of minorities in subsequent years both in religious treatises about preaching and conversion, and in royal laws. The lecture will analyze different factors leading to these changes of royal policies and decision-making, among others the influence of canon law in royal law, and the tensions between written law and practical policies of implementation.