From words to deeds? Hostile rhetoric and violence against minorities in premodern Europe.


14.12.2023 at 14.00 - 18.00
What were the consequences of anti-Jewish sermons, rumours about black magic and treatises against heretics? The verbal attacks against minorities certainly contributed to the persecuting atmosphere of premodern Europe, but what were their connections to acts of violence and other concrete forms of persecution? In the workshop From words to deeds?, researchers from the Universities of Greifswald, Tampere and Turku present their latest research on polemical accusations and violence and discuss it with Prof. John H. Arnold from the University of Cambridge.

The workshop is organised by the project PERSECUTIO (, funded by the Research Council of Finland and hosted at the University of Turku in collaboration with Tampere University.

14.00, Christian Krötzl, Tampere
Opening Words

Session 1. Chair: Marika Räsänen

14.15 Jussi Hanska, Tampere
Preachers and Anti-Judaic Violence: The Case of “Saint” Hugh of Lincoln

14.45 Cordelia Heß, Greifswald
Blood libel in Sweden - the transmission of anti-Jewish knowledge in Latin texts

15.15 Tiago Queimada e Silva, Turku
They burnt them in the streets of the city three days on end': the massacre of the ”new Christians” in Lisbon, 1506

Break 15.45-16.15

Session 2. Chair: Sari Katajala-Peltomaa

16.15 Jenni Kuuliala, Turku
Black magic and bodily harm: Inflicting suffering and making sense of it in Renaissance Italy

16.45 Reima Välimäki, Turku
Defining causal mechanisms between polemics and persecution

17.15. John H. Arnold, Cambridge
Comments on the workshop presentations