Religious Authority in the Spanish Renaissance by Lu Ann Homza

By Lu Ann Homza

In spiritual Authority within the Spanish Renaissance, Lu Ann Homza rejects the conventional view of the Spanish Renaissance as a conflict of strict opposites in want of a extra nuanced heritage. via analyses of Inquisition trials, biblical translations, treatises on witchcraft, and tracts at the episcopate and penance, Homza illuminates the highbrow autonomy and effort of Spain's ecclesiastics, exploring the pliability and inconsistency of their personal tastes for humanism or scholasticism, personal tastes that have lengthy been regarded as steadfast.

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But neither the counsel of calificadores nor consultadores bound tribunals or prosecutors. Because guilt was presumed and repentance desired, the Inquisition could resort to torture when the accused remained defiant and refused to admit their guilt or name their accomplices: the purpose of water being poured down the nose or straps tightened around the arm was to elicit a confession, which was the best proof imaginable in the epoch’s legal culture, and the centerpiece of one of the era’s most publicized sacraments.

Historians formerly imagined that the Inquisition’s practice of concealment just heightened its authority and furthered a pedagogy of fear. ∂≠ What happened after Tovar’s arrest just adds to our appreciation of the contingent in Inquisition history. If, on one level, Tovar’s capture by inquisitors was routine once he was named as an accessory, what ensued with his detention was not, for he and his half brother worked to disable the Inquisition through wealth, patronage, and not a little audacity.

Vergara knew that Castillo most likely had damaging things to say about Tovar; he accordingly tried to control the situation by handing o√ messages to and from the outlaw. ∏≠ It would be easy to conclude that Lucena and Vergara were working in tandem to guard their siblings: certainly they had good reason to be acquainted and to seek each other’s help, given their relatives’ familiarity. But that cooperative gloss would tell only half the story, because here the relationship may have turned on intimidation as much as acquaintance.

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