The Corpus of Hebrew and Jewish Autos Sacramentales: Self-deception and Conversion

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This article identifies a set of plays written in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by 'new Jews' in the Western Sephardi Diaspora, as autos sacramentales. It discusses essential characteristics of this genre, such as the dual - theomachic and psychomachic - level, the triangle constellation of allegorical characters with human nature in its center and the representatives of good and evil on both sides, and the parallelism created in the play between the cosmic story, the story of humanity, and the story of the individual human soul. It is argued that these characteristics are to be found in plays written by Jews in the Early Modern Era. The article maintains that the appearance of this corpus of plays in the history of Jewish writing indicates that an underlying structure of the psychic and historical consciousness of Western culture had not skipped the Jewish cultural world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-47
JournalEuropean Journal of Jewish Studies
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2019 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


  • Antonio Enríquez Gómez
  • Hebrew drama
  • Miguel de Barrios
  • Moshe Zacuto
  • Penso de la Vega
  • Siglo de Oro drama
  • Western Sephardi Diaspora
  • autos sacramentales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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