Historians have tended to analyse how the Christian majority used to coerce and attack religious minorities in medieval Europe, focusing on legal discrimination, religous hatred, and prejudice as the most common causes of violence. But studies concentrating on how physical confrontation and conflict originated between members of the same minority are scarce. In this paper, we intend to look into this particular issue by using late medieval court records from the Iberian city of Valencia, focusing on a particular group: conversos, Jews forcibly converted to Christianity in 1391 and their descendants, uneasily stuck on the border of the two religious communities.
The study of the conversion of Jews in the late Middle Ages is rich and numerous, but so far it had neglected the role of the individual and his self-awareness of the process of his conversion. Therefore, in this paper, I wish to offer a new model for understanding and analyzing textual sources of conversion and examine them by using methods taken from the cognitive study. By doing so, I intend to identify the internal motivations of the convertors as they are reflected in the texts. This, I shall argue, can help us reach a better understanding of the process of conversion in the Late Middle Ages as well as that of the mentality Medieval people.