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9.- Pilar ROMEU, ed., Fuente clara (Salónica, 1595). Un
converso sefardí a la defensa del judaísmo y a la búsqueda
de su propia fe, Barcelona, 2007. 456 pgs. (24 x 17). Only 100
numbered copies. ISBN 978-84-930570-8-4. Price 125€.
Fuente clara was written between 1585 and 1590. It has been traditionally catalogued as a polemical Judeo-Christian work. Its author, a converso of Hispanic-Portuguese origin, who studied in Christian schools, renounced Christianity and returned to his ancestral faith, as did many conversos during the 16th Century. They moved to the orient in order to live as Jews. Some of them chose the Italian peninsula as a previous step before their definitive installation in the territories of the Ottoman Empire. They settled especially in Salonica, a city that during the 16th Century was in its Golden Age.
Even if it has deep Hispanic roots, this work was probably written in Italy, where the author reaffirmed his belief in the the superiority of the Jewish faith, and was compelled to try to convert other conversos still in doubt. Between medieval polemical works and the ethical and moral treatises from the 16th Century, this work expresses the rationalist thesis which attempted to prove the irrationality of Christian dogmas. It is an expositive work: for each topic, the Jewish and Christian theses are analyzed and debated until it is proved that the Jewish position is the correct one.
Review by Dra. Paloma Díaz-Mas in the CSIC's Revista de Filología Española: