Humanism and Christian Letters in Early Modern Iberia (1480-1630)

Even though humanism derived its literary, moral and educational predilections from ancient Greek and Roman models, it was never an inherently secular movement and it soon turned to religious questions. Humanists were, of course, brought up with Christian beliefs, regarded the Bible as a fundamental text, and many of them were members of the clergy, either regular or secular. While their importance as religious sources was undiminished, biblical and patristic texts came also to be read for their literary value. Renaissance authors who aspired to be poetae christianissimi naturally looked to the Latin Fathers who reconciled classical and Christian views of life, and presented them in an elegant manner.

The essays offered in this volume examine the influence of Christian Latin literature, whether biblical, patristic, scholastic or humanistic, upon the Latin and vernacular letters of the Iberian Peninsula in the period 1480 to 1630. The contributions have been organized into three thematically coherent groups, dealing with transmission, adaptation, and visual representation. Contrary to most studies on the Iberian literature of the period in which practically no essays are devoted to texts other than in Spanish, this volume successfully accommodates authors writing in Portuguese and Catalan. Likewise, a significant part of the pieces presented here is concerned with literary texts written in Latin. Moreover, it shows how the interests and preoccupations of the better-known authors of the Iberian Renaissance were also shared by contemporary figures whose choice of language may have resulted in their exclusion from the canon.

Alejandro Coroleu, formerly Lecturer at the University of Nottingham, is ICREA Research Professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He has published extensively on Humanism in the Crown of Aragon and Spain. Together with Barry Taylor he has edited the three volumes Latin and Vernacular in Renaissance Iberia (Manchester, 1999, 2006 and 2008).

Barry Taylor is Curator, Hispanic Printed Collections 1501–1850 at the British Library. He has published on aspects of the classical tradition in Spain and Portugal. Together with Alejandro Coroleu he has edited the three volumes Latin and Vernacular in Renaissance Iberia (Manchester, 1999, 2006 and 2008).

"This work gives us a richly varied set of studies examining the many-sided inheritance and transmission of, and response to, the Christian Latin literary tradition across the centuries and across the whole Iberian Peninsula, ranging from Isidore of Seville to Velázquez and from medieval pietism to Renaissance Christian humanism. The many angles of approach present new readings of big names and introduce others so far little remembered to a wider readership. Highly stimulating in its range, variety, and many insights."

—R. W.Truman, Oxford University

"The transformation of biblical and later Christian sources in humanist thought and cultural production was an essential feature of the European Renaissance. The essays in the present volume survey various forms of religious influence on a wide range of scholarly and artistic domains in Spain and Portugal, taking account of both Latin and vernacular sources. This important collection offers nothing less than a fresh panoramic perspective on the intellectual history of early modern Iberia."

—Andrew Laird, Professor of Classical Literature, Warwick University

"This volume has attracted many of the leading scholars in the field and is notable for its breadth—it does not limit itself to the canonical works and is not just Spanish-focused—as well as the rich variety of the studies within it. The studies I have read are meticulously researched, lucidly written and present exciting, new ideas even on well known areas of study, such as the writings of San Juan de la Cruz and the painting of Velázquez. Like the other volumes of studies that Taylor and Coroleu have co-edited, this volume will be widely quoted and will help to set the agenda for other scholars working on Spanish and indeed European humanism."

—Dr Jonathan Thacker, Fellow and Tutor in Spanish, Merton College, Oxford

Susanna Allés

Prof. Hélio Alves

Dr J.M. Andrews

Stephen Boyd

Montserrat Ferrer

Catarina Fouto

Leonardo Francalanci

Dr Jason Harris

Dr Eulàlia Miralles

Prof. Terence O’Reilly

Dr Pep Valsalobre

Felipe González Vega

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ISBN: 1-4438-2227-2

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-2227-5

Release Date: 23rd August 2010

Pages: 225

Price: £39.99