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 Tiempos Modernos: Revista Electrónica de Historia Moderna > Vol. 4, No. 9 (2003) Portal Mundos Modernos | RedIRIS 


"Limpieza de sangre" ¿Racismo en la edad moderna?

Max Sebastián Hering Torres, Institut für Geschichte Universität Wien


Resumen
Taking the sixteenth century as a starting point for research on racism might be considered as absurd, given that most studies dealing with this phenomenon start off with the beginnings of anthropology in the eighteenth century. Although the concept of “purity of blood” in early modern Spain, created by theological dogmatists, is a metaphor, through early modern Spain, the concept of “purity” partially displaces religion as a criterion of differentiation and emphasizes, for the first time in the European history, two fundamental criteria for social exclusion: “race” and “stained blood”. Regarding this point, the article presents a new hypothesis: “Purity” oscillates between theological and proto-scientific axioms, and it is for that reason that it is an oxymoron, in other words, the first “racist anti-Judaism” in history. The concept of “race” in early modern Spain does not allow us to state a causal relationship between “purity” and contemporary scientific racism. However, by observing its function of exclusion, the historical continuity of this idea is made evident. This leads the author to compare the concept of “race” with a chameleon surviving by mimesis, in other words adapting itself throughout time to the chimerical spheres of “knowledge” and “truth” and at the same time fulfilling its alienating function.


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Tiempos Modernos: Revista Electrónica de Historia Moderna
ISSN: 1699-7778



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