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Religious Authority in the Spanish Renaissance

, 344 pages
January 2004



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Religious Authority in the Spanish Renaissance

In Religious Authority in the Spanish Renaissance, Lu Ann Homza rejects the traditional view of the Spanish Renaissance as a battle of strict opposites in favor of a more nuanced history. Through analyses of Inquisition trials, biblical translations, treatises on witchcraft, and tracts on the episcopate and penance, Homza illuminates the intellectual autonomy and energy of Spain's ecclesiastics, exploring the flexibility and inconsistency in their preferences for humanism or scholasticism, preferences which have long been thought to be steadfast.

Lu Ann Homza is an associate professor of history at the College of William and Mary.

"Offers a sharp critique, or rather a series of critiques, of the conventional historiography of early modern Spanish religion [and] a series of valuable case studies of Catholic thought and practice... The book is beautifully written, and adds drama, emotion, and even humor to what might otherwise seem arcane ecclesiastical or scholarly disputes."

"A penetrating and convincing work of revisionist history. Few scholarly books from the start clearly mark a watershed in the interpretation of history. This one magisterially does."

"With clear writing and convincing scholarship, Homza has successfully challenged a long-standing paradigm in Spanish historical studies... Homza has rescued Spanish intellectual history from its paralyzingly rigid past... [and] discovered a dynamic intellectual world where theologians skillfully joined old authorities and new techniques as they groped for answers."

"Meticulous and engaging scholarship... The challenges [Homza] poses to questions of periodization and categorization should be a model for future studies of the religious, cultural, and intellectual currents of sixteenth-century Europe."

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