Jews and Conversos in Alonso de Espina's Fortalitium Fidei
Author: Rosa Vidal Doval
Publisher: Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature
Fortalitium fidei is one of the central texts in the controversy surrounding the religious and social status of conversos in fifteenth-century Castile. This monograph provides a close analysis of the text itself and contextualizes this study through comparison with pro-converso texts and with reference to Alonso de Espina's career as an Observant Franciscan. After an outline of the development of the converso problem, it offers a biography of Espina and a discussion of the context of production of Fortalitium fidei. There is then a discussion of three works of theology in defence of conversos: Alonso de Cartagena's Defensorium unitatis christianae, Juan de Torquemada's Tractatus contra madianitas et ismaelitas, and Alonso de Oropesa's Lumen ad revelationem gentium. The rest of the work is detailed reading of Fortalitium fidei, with chapters on the image of the fortress, the treatment of Jews and Judaism, and of conversos. This volume addresses the extent and nature of the debate about conversos, the development of models of genealogical exclusion, and the role of Espina and his text in the ending of religious plurality in Spain.
Converso and Morisco are the terms applied to those Jews and Muslims who converted to Christianity (mostly under duress) in late medieval Spain. "Converso and Moriscos Studies" examines the manifold cultural implications of these mass convertions.
St. Rose of Lima (Isabel Flores y Oliva, 1586-1617) was canonized in 1671 as the first saint of the New World and Patron of the Americas. In this engrossing new biography, Frank Graziano offers the most comprehensive examination of the life of Rose to appear in any language. An obscure, self-mortifying mystic, Rose seems a strange choice for the distinction of first American saint. Graziano argues that the cult that grew up around St. Rose during her life and greatly expanded after her death was seen by both Church and State as a challenge and even a threat to authority. For that reason, he contends, the Church acted quickly to render her harmless by "bringing her into the fold." Graziano goes on to consider Rose's ascetic Christianity in its cultural context. He seeks to discover why the severe austerities and mortifications of female piety that today are regarded as psychopathological were lauded as exemplary means of worship in the seventeenth century. In fact, he shows, St.; Rose's behavior and experiences were initially regarded as pathological by many significant observers within her own culture, but such assessments were gradually dismissed as her saintly image was constructed. Drawing on key archival sources and the insights offered by psychoanalytic theory, Graziano constructs a compelling portrait of one of the Catholic Church's most beloved saints.