This volume examines the Spanish Inquisition's response to a host of self-proclaimed holy persons and miracle-working visionaries whose spiritual exploits garnered popular acclaim in seventeenth-century Spain. In an effort to control this groundswell of religious enthusiasm, the Spanish Inquisition began prosecuting the crime of feigned sanctity, attempting to distinguish "false saints" from their officially approved counterparts. Drawing on Inquisition trial records, confessors' manuals, treatises on the discernment of spirits, and spiritual autobiographies, the book situates the problem of religious imposture in relation to the Catholic church's campaigns of social discipline and confessionalization in the post-Tridentine era and analyzes the ways in which conceptual controversies in early modern demonology, medicine, and natural philosophy complicated the church's disciplinary aims.
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 561 g
Dimensions: 244 x 163 x 20 mm
'In all, Keitt's is a useful book, and should interest many, providing as it does a close analysis of how elite thinkers and more mundane madrilenos understood sanctity in the latter half of the Hapsburg era.'
Gretchen Starr-LeBeau, The Medieval Review, 2006.
Awarded an "honorable mention" (i.e. tied with one other book for first runner up) for the Best First Book Prize (2004-06) of the Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical studies. The committee stated: "Keitt's book develops a series of important points on wide-ranging subjects: religion and the court, social discipline and control, reform efforts, demonology, false sanctity and a host of others. It's based on original research that is carefully laid out and is very accessible to the reader. It is, in short, a convincing work"
'In addition to its careful analysis of the key court cases, this book also offers an intelligent study of changing early modern perspectives on nature and the supernatural, on the scope of medicine, and on the stability (or lack thereof) of the human personality. It will be of interest therefore not just to scholars of Spain but to anyone who studies the European early modern period.'
Jessica A. Coope, The American Historical Review, 111.4
"...Andrew Keitt has achieved a remarkable feat at various levels. First, he has plumbed the archival sources and the printed literature very thoroughly and judiciously. Second, he has engaged with all of the scholarship on a broad range of related subjects: Inquisition studies, mysticism, social disciplining, and gender
studies, to name a few. His engagement with the scholarly literature is so thorough, in fact, that it turns the book into a very serviceable annotated bibliography. ...From now on, this book should become required reading for anyone seriously interested in early modern religious history..."
Carlos M.N. Eire, The Catholic Historical Review 93.4 (2007)