Jews and Heretics in Catholic Poland: A Beleaguered Church by Magda Teter

By Magda Teter

Opposite to the typical competition that the Catholic Church triumphed in Counter-Reformation Poland, this research unearths that from the increase of the Reformation and the swift dissemination of its new rules, the Catholic Church used to be triumph over with a robust feel of lack of confidence. The beleaguered Church sought to split Catholics from non-Catholics: Jews and heretics. This approach helped shape a Polish identification that resulted in racial anti-Semitism and to the exclusion of even so much assimilated Jews from the class of Poles. The publication portrays Jews not just as sufferers of Church persecution yet as energetic influential individuals in Polish society.

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Extra info for Jews and Heretics in Catholic Poland: A Beleaguered Church in the Post-Reformation Era

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Hostility toward Jews in post-Reformation Poland was part of the Church’s desire for social and religious control, discipline, and influence. So too is it part of Catholic cultural history; with the invention of printing, the hostile anti-Jewish stereotypes entered literary culture in Poland with other books from the West and remained an important part of this culture into the eighteenth century. This occurred at least in part as a consequence of the cultural insularity of the post-Reformation Polish Church.

6 In this series depicting Catholic martyrdom at the hands of non-Catholics, conceived and commis˙ sioned by Zuchowski, Sandomierz’s castle explodes, blown up by Protestant Swedes. Bodies fly in the air. In a second painting, Muslim Tatars slaughter Sandomierz Dominicans. On the side panels, “infidels” butcher Catholics. Blood and body parts are scattered around. Elaborate methods of torture are conspicuously present in each painting. The series underlines the Polish Catholics’ perception of nonCatholics, Jews, heretics, and other “infidels” as deadly enemies of the Church.

Detail from the last page of Stefan Zuchowski’s Process Kryminalny. A papal tiara with a skull and bones, a symbol usually placed under a crucifix to signify the first man, Adam. xxx P1: JZZ 0521856736pre CB946B/Teter 0 521 85673 6 November 25, 2005 15:53 9. Portrait of King Sigismund I from Piotr Hyacynth Pruszcz’s Forteca Duchowna (1737). The text discusses the execution of Katarzyna Malcherowa for conversion to Judaism in Cracow in 1539. xxxi 10. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ” (plate 13) in Herman Moll, The World Described, or, A New and Correct Sett of maps: Shewing the Several Empires, Kingdoms, Republics .

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