Crypto-Judaism Panel

Perkins School of Theology hosts a panel discussion on “Crypto-Judaism in the American Southwest: Hidden Religious Roots of Hispanic Peoples” in the Great Hall of Prothro Hall, Sunday, April 25, at 2:30 p.m. A reception will follow.

The forum will include presentations by four scholars in the field, including Dr. Pamela Patton, associate professor of Art History at Meadows School of the Arts, SMU: “Iberian Historical Setting and Roots”; Dr. Stanley M. Hordes, adjunct research professor, Latin American and Iberian Institute, University of New Mexico: “The Dispersion and Presence of Crypto-Jews in the Hispanic Southwest”; Juan Gutierrez, doctoral candidate, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, Chicago: “Religious Expressions Among Crypto-Jews”; and Dr. Gregory Cuellar, adjunct faculty at Perkins School of Theology, SMU and Richland College, Dallas: “Crypto-Jews: An Oppositional Subculture in the U.S. Southwest.”

The Spanish settlement and early presence in the "new world" included a number of persons of Spanish Jewish background who were escaping the Spanish Inquisition. Recent attention has been given to this historic phenomenon. Of particular interest is how people were able to maintain a Jewish religious identity and practice in the context of very strong negative attitudes. To address this question is to explore the strength of religious and identity belief in the face of religious oppression.

The forum is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions at Perkins, the Mexican American Program at Perkins, and the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Religious Studies Department, and Judaic Studies Department at SMU. The event is free and open to the public.