In the Shadow of the Inquisition: Theological Discourse in the writings of Luis de Carvajal and in Sor Juana's Crisis de un sermón

by Dollinger, Karen Rebecca

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this project is to look for traces of inquisitorial ideology as well as resistance to the Inquisition itself in theological texts by two subaltern writers in colonial Mexico: Luis de Carvajal as a crypto-Jew in a Catholic empire, and Sor Juana as a woman theologian in a male-dominated church. In the first chapter, I give a brief overview of the history of medieval Inquisitions, through the founding of the Spanish Inquisition in 1478, the reasons the Spanish Inquisition came to Latin America, and the goals of the Inquisition in Mexico. In chapter two, I explore the concept of an inquisitorial literary analysis, as well as controversies in Inquisition scholarship. I also analyze "El sacrificio de Isaac," a play written by an anonymous Franciscan in 1540 in an effort to evangelize the indigenous population of Tlaxcala, and which demonstrates an inquisitorial ideology. In chapter three, I examine the writings of Luis de Carvajal, a crypto-Jew who was executed by the Inquisition in 1595. Memorias , the letters of Luis de Carvajal, and his Testamento all show traces of inquisitorial ideology. Nonetheless, Carvajal manages to interpellate his inquisitors by reversing their own ideological tropes. Carvajal resists the Mexican Inquisition through his discursive strategies. In chapter four, I examine Crisis de un sermón by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, which is the text that provoked La carta de Sor Filotea de la Cruz and Sor Juana's Respuesta a Sor Filotea . One can see inquisitorial traces in Crisis de un sermón . In this text God is shown as jealous and does not permit competition, people are weak and sinful, there are performative aspects in God's examples, and punishment is a means of saving souls. Also, intentions are more important than acts. The texts examined here, especially Crisis de un sermón , demonstrate not only that Sor Juana thoroughly understood inquisitorial theology, but that she also possessed a clearly articulated fear of that institution. The Inquisition was an important subtext in the works of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:luis de carvajal sor juana inés la cruz crisis un sermón carta atenagórica el sacrificio isaac mexican inquisition


Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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