Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Culture and Control in Counter-Reformation Spain

Culture and Control in Counter-Reformation Spain

Series: Hispanic Issues
Volume: 7
Copyright Date: 1992
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 296
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Culture and Control in Counter-Reformation Spain
    Book Description:

    Focuses on the various modes of repression and cultural/social control exerted by Spanish institutions during the counter-reformation.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8415-1
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Introduction Culture and Control in Counter-Reformation Spain
    (pp. ix-xxiv)
    Anne J. Cruz and Mary Elizabeth Perry

    Culture and control became issues of primary importance for public policy during the Counter-Reformation in Spain. From the reign of Ferdinand and Isabel through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Spain experienced the exhilaration and anxiety of attempts to effect meaningful reform that pressed far beyond the confines of religion. The Counter-Reformation was an “order-seeking” period, in the words of historian A. G. Dickens, during which officials exerted greater efforts than before to define culture and set limits on how much cultural diversity would be tolerated.

    Cultural formation, however, is not an internalized phenomenon, but responds to and influences a number...

  4. Chapter 1 “Christianization” in New Castile: Catechism, Communion, Mass, and Confirmation in the Toledo Archbishopric, 1540-1650
    (pp. 1-24)
    Jean Pierre Dedieu

    In 1975, Professor Delumeau, in his inaugural address at the College of France, presented a brilliant synthesis of the history of Christianity. According to him, during the Middle Ages an abyss separated an elite minority, who adhered to a set of established religious practices, from the masses, who believed in magic and ignored the most elemental Christian truths, in spite of the fact that they did indeed consider themselves Christians. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Catholic and Protestant elite became aware of this fact, influenced both by the mendicant orders’ attempts to awaken the religious spirit of the...

  5. Chapter 2 A Saint for All Seasons: The Cult of San Julián
    (pp. 25-50)
    Sara T. Nalle

    While much of the focus of the Counter-Reformation was on the suppression of heterodoxy, enormous effort was also directed toward creating new cults that would carry forward the emerging Tridentine ethic. Particularly favored were cults that explicitly defended points of doctrine legitimating the religious regime that the Protestants hoped to overthrow. The Protestants cast doubt on the validity of the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist as the center of Christian faith. In addition, they denied the authority of priests, held images to be idolatrous, and attacked the cult of the saints as superstition. Each of these attacks on Catholic...

  6. Chapter 3 Religious Oratory in a Culture of Control
    (pp. 51-77)
    Gwendolyn Barnes-Karol

    The culture of Counter-Reformation Spain is often analyzed in terms of ideological control. Along these lines, literary and cultural historians usually highlight the religious, social, and political intimidation and repression of the Inquisition; the opulentfiestasand public festivals designed to inspire awe in spectators; and the propagandistic power of the new comedy(comedia nueva)to engender respect for the values of the traditional monarchical-seigneurial order. Less attention has been paid to religious oratory, which was perhaps one of the most effective agents of the Counter-Reformation culture of control. Because of the frequency of sermons, their accessibility to all sectors...

  7. Chapter 4 The Moriscos and Circumcision
    (pp. 78-92)
    Bernard Vincent

    In her study on themoriscosfrom Sigüenza and the Cuenca region, Mercedes García Arenal, on the subject of circumcision, records the declaration of amoriscofrom Belmonte who appeared before the Inquisition in 1630. According to him, “all themoriscosof the kingdom of Valencia, about half from Aragón, and none from Andalucía and Castile were circumcised” (149). To what extent can we believe such isolated and late testimony given twenty years after the expulsion? Is this merely a gratuitous statement or does it express a widespread belief among themoriscos?In this essay, I would like to offer...

  8. Chapter 5 Aldermen and Judaizers: CryptoJudaism, Counter-Reformation, and Local Power
    (pp. 93-123)
    Jaime Contreras

    The year 1560 was a time both of loud public loyalties barely disguising clearly political motives and of forced silence. Those closest to the King openly asserted that in the new governmental program of Philip II, religious heterodoxy was to be viewed as social and political dissidence. They insisted that, for this reason, the Tribunal of the Faith, whose charge it was to protect orthodoxy, must be converted into a political institution of maximum importance.

    This, in short, was the premise of the Counter-Reformation program begun in that year. Obviously, the program was not disinterested; on the contrary, it intended...

  9. Chapter 6 Magdalens and Jezebels in Counter-Reformation Spain
    (pp. 124-144)
    Mary Elizabeth Perry

    Guard your daughters “as dragons,” Juan de la Cerda exhorted parents in a book published in 1599, and teach them the obedience and modesty essential to female purity (242r). Few parents may have actually read the Franciscan as an expert in raising daughters, but his advice nonetheless reflected a widespread belief in Counter-Reformation Spain that chastity was to be valued above all other virtues for women and that it was the most vulnerable female quality. In the peculiar mathematics of Counter-Reformation moralists, the female who lost her chastity acquired in exchange a frightening license to break every other taboo. The...

  10. Chapter 7 La bella malmaridada: Lessons for the Good Wife
    (pp. 145-170)
    Anne J. Cruz

    Cultured poetry has traditionally afforded contemporary society with paradigmatic attitudes toward relations between the sexes, mainly from the viewpoint of the male poet. From the medieval courtly love tradition to the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Golden Age sonnets, the conventional poetic voice has celebrated woman’s beauty, rejoiced in her love, or lamented her absence. Hardly, if ever, do these poems grant women a voice with which to register their own emotions. Until very recently, literary history thus inferred the status of high culture to the poetry of men, and limited female expression to the less-respected genre of “popular” poetry.¹

    Yet cultured...

  11. Chapter 8 Saint Teresa, Demonologist
    (pp. 171-195)
    Alison Weber

    Teresa of Jesus (1515-1582) believed in the existence of an army of malevolent beings battling ceaselessly for the souls of God’s creatures. The Devil as well as lesser demons are omnipresent antagonists in her work; they inflict physical pain and spiritual anguish, sow dissension and envy within the convent, and strive constantly to obstruct and discredit her efforts to reform the Carmelite Order. Teresa, very much a daughter of the Counter-Reformation, believed in the Devil as an extrapersonal presence with supernatural powers. Nonetheless, her conceptions of the demonic differ in important respects from those of her contemporaries; as a “demonologist”...

  12. Chapter 9 Woman as Source of “Evil” in Counter-Reformation Spain
    (pp. 196-215)
    María Helena Sánchez Ortega

    Since ancient times, woman has been the object of accusations that have essentially transformed her into the source of all suffering. Both classical and Judeo-Christian traditions associate her with the appearance of sudden illnesses, death, accidents, and even metaphysical malaise. Eve, Lilith, Delilah, Pandora, and Helen are names that immediately bring to mind the misfortunes befalling the men who trusted these women. Humanity in general is said to have suffered because of woman’s imprudence, her frauds, her cunning, as well as her capacity to distract and seduce even the strongest and most God-fearing of men. Traditionally, women have also been...

  13. Chapter 10 On the Concept of the Spanish Literary Baroque
    (pp. 216-230)
    John R. Beverley

    Like one of its major figures,Janus—“el bifronte dios” in Góngora’s exact characterization (one face peering perhaps at the sunset of feudalism, the other at the dawn of capitalism)—the Baroque has been seen an ambivalent phenomenon as has its “reception.” The debate over its nature and value has been perennially on the agenda of modern European literary and cultural criticism, indeed was in a sense the issue that founded this criticism as such. What is at stake here is not only the Baroque as a “style-concept,” but also its articulation as a cultural signifier, with a correspondingly variable set...

  14. Afterword The Subject of Control
    (pp. 231-254)
    Anthony J. Cascardi

    In a 1946 essay entitled “An Introduction to the Ideology of the Baroque in Spain,” Stephen Gilman advanced the view that the artistic style characteristic of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in Spain was the reflection of a series of doctrinal premises that had come into power beginning roughly with the Council of Trent, whose “ideological” force could best be measured by the degree to which the art of that period succeeded in communicating Counter-Reformation ideas to the public at large. For evidence of his views, Gilman drew on some of the more dramatic representations of Counter-Reformation ideology...

  15. Contributors
    (pp. 255-258)
  16. Index
    (pp. 259-267)