Role of Syriac in the Late Renaissance
by Father Dale A. Johnson
The language of Syriac played a curious role in the development of the
Christian Kabbalah, the attempted conversion of Muslims and Jews, the
Protestant Reformation and the emergence of the printing press in the
16th century Europe.
European Christian/Jewish relations were perhaps at their lowest point
in 1492 when on January 1, Jews were required to either leave Spain or
convert to Christianity. In a xenophobic wave of Inquisitions fueled by
the victories of Christian armies in pushing out the last of the Muslim
occupiers of Europe thousands of Jews were killed while others were
forced to flee for their lives into the diaspora. Some found welcome
refuge in Istanbul and the Ottoman Empire.
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