Deviant Orthodoxy in Colonial Mexico
Publication Year: 2005
False Mystics examines why the Catholic church viewed the accused as deviants and argues that this categorization was due in part to unconventional aspects of their spirituality and in part to contemporary social anxieties over class and race mixing, transgressions of appropriate gendered behavior, and fears of Indian and African influences on orthodox Catholicism. Jaffary examines the transformations this category of heresy underwent between Spain and the New World and explores the relationship between accusations of "false" mysticism and contemporary notions of demonic possession, sickness, and mental illness. Jaffary adopts the perspectives of visionaries to examine the influence of colonial artwork on their spiritual imaginations and to trace the reasons that their spirituality diverged from conventional expressions of piety. False Mystics illuminates the challenges that popular religion and individual spirituality posed to both the institutional church and the colonial social order.
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Since I began working on this book I have often been compelled to explain my interest in the group of one hundred Mexican “false” mystics whose stories lie at its core. One scholar to whom I outlined my project (then in its incubation stages) many years ago remarked, “Well, that sounds fine if you don’t care about the lives of 97 percent ...
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I wish to acknowledge my gratitude to the many individuals and institutions that provided me with professional, personal, and practical assistance during the research and writing of False Mystics. I am indebted to Asunción Lavrin, who encouraged me to submit the manuscript to the University of Nebraska Press, to the press’s anonymous ...
Introduction: Ana Rodríguez de Castro y Aramburu: An Ilusa before the Mexican Inquisition
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On November 21, 1801, Ana Rodríguez de Castro y Aramburu appeared before the Mexican tribunal of the Spanish Inquisition to defend herself against allegations that she had engaged in unorthodox religious practices. Inquisitor Antonio Bergosa y Jordán asked Aramburu if she knew of anyone who feigned receiving divine revelations, ...
1. The Production of Orthodoxy and Deviancy
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Late-fifteenth- and early-sixteenth-century Spain produced and exported to Mexico both the court that prosecuted New World mystics and the heresy for which they were tried. Pope Sixtus IV granted royal jurisdiction to the Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, to establish the Tribunal del Santo Oficio, the modern Spanish ...
2. Mystical Spirituality in the Social Context of Colonial Mexico
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In the city of Puebla in the summer of 1717, the Mexican Inquisition opened a hearing against Marta de la Encarnación, a castiza seamstress and spinner, whom the court later qualified as an “alumbrada, hipócrita, and embustera.” 1 During the next eight years the tribunal repeatedly interrogated Marta, her confessor, Juan Manuel de Vega, and ...
3. The Evaluation of True and False Mysticism
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In the last week of April 1738 the Mexican tribunal received a flurry of letters from five clerics denouncing Agustín Claudio, a lay brother (religioso lego) of the order of San Hipólito Martír. 1 Two friars described how they had seen fray Agustín jump out of his chair during prayer, grimace, and contort his body strangely. A third reported that ...
4. Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy in the Visions of Ilusos and Alumbrados
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So began a vision that Getrudis Rosa Ortiz, a poor mestiza laywoman, described for the judges of the Holy Office near the outset of her 1723 trial in Mexico City. “I could not distinguish what material the cross was made of, nor if the Lord was alive or dead. But I did see that a great flow of water that trickled in many drops was coming from the wound of his right side and falling on a great ...
5. The Classification of Female Disorders
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Clerical, lay, and medical witnesses who testified in Josefa Palacios’s late-eighteenth-century ilusa trial all had great difficulty comprehending and classifying the disturbing fits they watched her experience. A Franciscan friar from the town of Pachuca originally denounced Palacios along with her confessor, Eusebio Villarejo, in a ...
Conclusion: The Spirit and the Flesh
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In the midst of Ana de Aramburu’s late-eighteenth-century Inquisition hearing, someone composed a scathing visual lampoon of her religious experiences and tacked it up to the door of the Orcolaga household whereAramburu was living at the outset of her trial (see figure 4). 1 Juan Domingo Gutiérrez, one of her former patrons, submitted ...
Appendix 1. Database of Iluso and Alumbrado Trials
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Appendix 2. Database of Embustero Trials
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Publication Year: 2005
Series Title: Engendering Latin America