Women in the Inquisition: Spain and the New World

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Mary E. Giles
JHU Press, 1999 - History - 402 pages
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Ana Domenge, who later founded the Dominican convent in Perpignán, composed a written account of her spiritual intimacies with God while being held in terrible conditions in a secret prison in Barcelona. Inés of Herrera del Duque, a leather tanner's twelve-year-old daughter whose messianic prophesies captivated both children and adults, was burned at the stake along with many of her followers. Nine years after the death of Catarina de San Juan, the Inquisition banned copies of her image and biography, fearing that a cult was forming around this popular holy woman in Puebla, New Spain. Inquisitors enlisted the assistance of Mari Sánchez's daughter to prove that this Jewish converso was guilty of practicing Judaism in secret, an accusation that led to her death. In Women in the Inquisition, Mary E. Giles brings together scholars from literature, history, and religious studies to explore women's experiences under the Inquisition in both Spain and the New World.

Based on fresh archival work, the essays provide a broader perspective on the Inquisition than has previously been available. Examining the stories of fifteen women in the context of this fearful Catholic institution in both Spain and the New World, the contributors chronicle a broad range of "crimes" against the Catholic Church, including sexual transgressions, the practice of crypto-Judaism, and the writing and preaching by alumbradas that undermined Catholic orthodoxy. The accounts, representing the experiences of girls and women from different classes and geographical regions, also include the trials' vastly divergent outcomes ranging from burning at the stake to exoneration.

 

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Contents

Mari Sanchez and Ines Gonzalez
19
The Prophetess of Extremadura
42
A ConvictedJudaizerfrom Castile
53
Francisca Hernandez and
75
ANGEL ALCALA
98
Francisca de los Apostoles
119
Y Yo Dije Si senor
134
Maria de Jesus de Agreda
155
When Bigamy Is the Charge
189
The Inquisition in the New World
207
Blasphemy as Resistance
229
Rosa de Escalantes Private Party
254
Testimony for Canonization
270
Glossary
377
Notes on Contributors
389
Copyright

Contested Identities
171

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About the author (1999)

Mary E. Giles is professor of humanities and religious studies at the California State University in Sacramento.

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