Spina, Alphonso De

Spina, Alphonso De a Christian apologist, lived in Spain in the 15th century. He was of Jewish extraction, but was converted and received into the Order of Franciscan monks, after which he became rector of the high school at Salamanca, and ultimately bishop of Orense, in Galicia. He wrote an apologetical work entitled Fortalitium Fidei contra Judoeos, Saracenos Aliosque Christianoe Fidei Inimicos, which was published in 1484, and repeatedly afterwards, and which was famous in its time. It consists of four books, each of which includes several considerationes. Book 1 proves from the fulfilment of prophecy that Jesus is the true Messiah. Book 2 deals with heretics and the punishments they incur. Book 3 is devoted to the Jews and to the refutation of their arguments in opposition to Christianity. Book 4 is directed against the Mohammedans, and contains a detailed criticism of their religious system, followed by a not uninteresting description of the conflicts the Christians were obliged to sustain against the Saracens. The work was first published anonymously, and was in time attributed, but erroneously, to the Dominican Bartholomew Spina (died 1546; see Zedler, Universal-Lexikon) and others. For a thorough characterization of the work, see R. Simon. Biblioth. Critique, par M. de Saingre, 3, 316-322; and comp. Bayle, Dictionnaire; Zedler, Universal-Lexikon; Schröckh, Kirchengesch. 30, 573 sq.; 34, 361 sq.

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