Sacred Skin offers the first systematic evaluation of the dissemination and development of the cult of St. Bartholomew in Spain. Exploring the paradoxes of hagiographic representation and their ambivalent effect on the observer, the book focuses on literary and visual testimonies produced from the emergence of a distinctive vernacular voice through to the formalization of Bartholomew’s saintly identity and his transformation into a key expression of Iberian consciousness. Drawing on and extending advances in cultural criticism, particularly theories of selfhood and the complex ontology of the human body, its five chapters probe the evolution of hagiographic conventions, demonstrating how flaying poses a unique challenge to our understanding of the nature and meaning of identity.
Inquisitionis Hispanicae Artes (Heidelberg, 1567), written by exiled Spanish Protestants, is the first systematic denunciation of the Spanish Inquisition. Its first part is a description of the Inquisition’s methods, making use of the Inquisition’s own instruction manual, which was not publicly known. Its second section presents a gallery of individuals who suffered persecution in Seville during the anti-Protestant repression (1557-1565). The book had a great impact, being almost immediately translated into English, French, Dutch, German, and Hungarian. The portraits very soon passed into Protestant martyrologies, and the most shocking descriptions (torture, auto de fe) became ammunition for anti-Spanish literature. This critical edition presents a new text as well as, for the first time, extensive notes.