Creating Christian Granada

Creating Christian Granada: Society and Religious Culture in an Old-World Frontier City, 1492–1600

David Coleman
Copyright Date: 2003
Published by: Cornell University Press
Pages: 264
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    Creating Christian Granada
    Book Description:

    Creating Christian Granadaprovides a richly detailed examination of a critical and transitional episode in Spain's march to global empire. The city of Granada-Islam's final bastion on the Iberian peninsula-surrendered to the control of Spain's "Catholic Monarchs" Isabella and Ferdinand on January 2, 1492. Over the following century, Spanish state and Church officials, along with tens of thousands of Christian immigrant settlers, transformed the formerly Muslim city into a Christian one.

    With constant attention to situating the Granada case in the broader comparative contexts of the medieval reconquista tradition on the one hand and sixteenth-century Spanish imperialism in the Americas on the other, Coleman carefully charts the changes in the conquered city's social, political, religious, and physical landscapes. In the process, he sheds light on the local factors contributing to the emergence of tensions between the conquerors and Granada's formerly Muslim, "native" morisco community in the decades leading up to the crown-mandated expulsion of most of the city's moriscos in 1569-1570.

    Despite the failure to assimilate the moriscos, Granada's status as a frontier Christian community under construction fostered among much of the immigrant community innovative religious reform ideas and programs that shaped in direct ways a variety of church-wide reform movements in the era of the ecumenical Council of Trent (1545-1563). Coleman concludes that the process by which reforms of largely Granadan origin contributed significantly to transformations in the Church as a whole forces a reconsideration of traditional "top-down" conceptions of sixteenth-century Catholic reform.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-6876-6
    Subjects: History, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. ii-v)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vi-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
    David Coleman
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-ix)
  5. [Map]
    (pp. x-x)
  6. INTRODUCTION A Conquered City
    (pp. 1-12)

    When did Granada become a “Christian” city? The most obvious answer to this question is misleading: January 2, 1492—the date on which the “Catholic Monarchs” Isabella and Ferdinand of Castile and Aragon triumphantly entered this city in the southeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, thus subduing Islam’s last bastion in Western Europe and completing the centuries-long Christian “reconquest” of Spain. Although under Christian political control after 1492, Granada long remained in many ways an Islamic city. For eight years after the conquest, for example, Islam remained the religion practiced by the overwhelming majority of the city’s residents. The resounding...

  7. CHAPTER ONE A Frontier Society The Christian Immigrant Community, 1492–1570
    (pp. 13-31)

    Juan de la Torre was one of the thousands of Christian immigrants who came to Granada seeking opportunity and fortune in the decades after the city’s 1492 conquest. He had grown up in Toledo as a member of a wealthy judeoconverso merchant family that played a leading role in that city’s endemic violence between Jewish converts and “Old Christians.” Two of his kinsmen had been hanged in 1467 for entering Toledo’s cathedral armed to do battle with Old Christians; another had been hanged for allegedly leading a 1485 plot to murder local inquisitors during the city’s Corpus Christi procession.¹ Though...

  8. CHAPTER TWO Mudéjares and Moriscos Change and Continuity in Granada’s “Indigenous” Community
    (pp. 32-49)

    Judging by the 1563 distribution of his six-millionmaravediestate among his heirs, the morisco merchant Alonso Hermes had become by the middle decades of the sixteenth century one of Granada’s wealthiest residents. Yet little is known of his family’s past. His recent Muslim ancestors certainly had not been members of Nasrid Granada’s ruling elite, and his parents and/or grandparents were probably converted to Christianity along with the city’s mudejar masses in January or February 1500 in the wake of the failed first rebellion. Alonso’s wealth, however, had allowed him to arrange particularly advantageous marriages for his children, including that...

  9. CHAPTER THREE A Divided City, A Shared City Drawing and Crossing Ethnic Boundaries
    (pp. 50-72)

    The eventual expulsion of most of the city’s “native” community in 1569–1570 at the height of the second rebellion casts an imposing shadow over any examination of morisco-Christian immigrant relations in postconquest Granada. Given the tragic outcome, it is difficult to avoid the temptation to emphasize moments of confrontation, ignoring in the process the mostly peaceable ways in which the frontier city’s two principal ethnic groups interacted with one another on a daily basis for nearly eight decades. As recently as 1994, in fact, historian Miguel Angel Ladero Quesada characterized the nature of Christian immigrant-morisco relations in postconquest Granada...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR The Emergence of a New Order Granada’s Governing Institutions
    (pp. 73-90)

    The conquest of Granada had been a royal project, and in theory, crown authority over the conquered city was absolute. With the exception of the Alhambra palace and its environs—placed by Ferdinand and Isabella under the seigneurial authority of the count of Tendilla—Granada was a royal city, subject to the crown’s direct authority rather than to that of a noble lord. The Catholic Monarchs and their successors held complete control, for example, over the naming not only of the members of the city’s royal appellate court, but also of the officials of the municipal council. Through a papal grant of...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE Creating Christian Granada Lay Initiative and the Invention of Local Religious Traditions, 1492–1550
    (pp. 91-118)

    Granada’s earliest immigrant community in the 1490s included a small group of laborers from Asturias and Spain’s other mountainous northern coastal regions. On arrival, most of these Asturian immigrants, prohibited by the surrender agreement from residing within the city itself, concentrated themselves in a marginal neighborhood outside the city walls, in an area stretching out from the lower city toward the plains to the west. Within the first few years after the conquest, the Asturians had constructed within their new neighborhood a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady and San Roque—the cult of San Roque being a devotion typically...

  12. CHAPTER SIX Defining Reform New Directions in Granada’s Religious Life, 1526–1546
    (pp. 119-144)

    Arguably the most powerful ruler Europe had seen since the days of the ancient Roman Empire, the young Habsburg Holy Roman emperor, duke of Burgundy and king of Castile and Aragon, Charles V, entered Granada on June 4, 1526, for what would be his first and only visit to the frontier city.¹ According to royal chronicler Prudencio de Sandoval, the emperor had brought his enormous entourage to Granada simply to see the sights of the old Nasrid capital and flee the brutal summertime heat and humidity of Seville, where he had spent the spring with his new Portuguese bride, Empress...

  13. CHAPTER SEVEN Negotiating Reform Pedro Guerrero, Granada, and the Council of Trent, 1546–1563
    (pp. 145-176)

    By all accounts, Pedro Guerrero was among the most significant and influential figures at both the second (1551–1552) and third (1562–1563) meetings of the ecumenical Council of Trent. The Guerrero of the council’s 1562–1563 final convocation, however, was a very different man from the one who had headed the Spanish delegation a decade earlier. In 1551–1552, the well-educated but still relatively inexperienced archbishop of Granada epitomized a spirit of cooperative effort and hard work, even if nearly all of his and Maestro Avila’s reform goals remained unaccomplished when Maurice of Saxony’s advancing armies hastened the fathers...

  14. CHAPTER EIGHT Rebellion, Retrenchment, and the Road to the Sacromonte, 1564–1600
    (pp. 177-202)

    Having spent at that point a total of less than five years in Granada, Pedro Guerrero was still a relative newcomer among the city’s immigrant community when he returned from his first journey to Trent on January 17, 1553. On his arrival, he received from much of his flock a warm welcome complete with festive reception ceremonies similar to those with which the city customarily observed the entrance and installation of a new prelate. Despite frigid winter temperatures, the community and its archbishop that afternoon together enjoyed among other things a number of outdoor performances of religious dramas on a...

  15. Notes
    (pp. 203-234)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 235-248)
  17. Index
    (pp. 249-252)