Alastair Hamilton presents the intriguing history of the alumbrados, the 'Enlightened Ones', investigated and condemned by the Spanish Inquisition. These various groups, though different from one another, were regarded at the time as parts of a single heresy. The first, known as the alumbrados of Toledo, developed a doctrine which closely resembled Protestantism. The later movements, discovered in the south of Spain, distorted the teaching of the great Spanish mystics and indulged in debauchery and ecstatic worship. The Spanish Inquisition, on whose records this study is largely based, first investigated the alumbrados because so many of them were conversos, descendants of converted Jews, the purity of whose Christianity was suspected. Subsequently, inquisitors used the charge of alumbradismo as a means of attacking other liberal and powerful conversos at the imperial court and at the Spanish universities.Hamilton deals with the spiritual climate of enthusiasm encouraged by the great cardinal and primate of Spain, Jimenez de Cisneros, in which the alumbrados of Toledo first flourished.
He examines the beliefs of those accused of being alumbrados and the way in which accusations were used to discredit a far wider circle of intellectuals. The first study in English to survey all the different alumbrado movements between 1510 and 1630, it also presents major events in Spanish ecclesiastical history, including the reception of the writings of Erasmus, the rise of the Jesuits, and the first reactions to the writings of mystics such as St Teresa of Avila.
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Number of pages: 154
Weight: 430 g
Dimensions: 240 x 157 x 15 mm