Skip to main content



In 1653, Isabel Gómez, a midwife from Portugal who lived in Madrid, was accused of being a Jew. The inquisitors asked her whether she could read and write and whether or not she had any forbidden books. The documents of the Inquisition contain her answer: “She said that she cannot read or write, nor does she have any forbidden books, although she has books relating her work.”¹

Isabel Gómez and her response to the inquisitors’ question perfectly represent the uncertain world of inquisitorial processes. Uncertainties and different truths about forms and modes of healing appear when religious authorities face and...

Year of publication 2020