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.
The last decade has witnessed a striking upsurge of interest in Iberian hagiography. In painting and the fine arts through to poetic and narrative treatments composed in Castilian and Catalan, the legacies of Christ, Mary, and the saints have been approached from a range of perspectives and subjected to detailed critical scrutiny. This book, which focuses specifically on the application of theoretical and methodological approaches to analysis, asks what scholars of early Iberian hagiography can bring to the analysis of the sacred past and how the study of the discipline can be taken forward innovatively in the future. Its fourteen essays, each focusing on a different aspect of composition, seek in particular to explore interdisciplinary methodologies and the ways in which they intersect with broader discourses in other branches of research.
Contributors are Carme Arronis Llopis, Fernando Baños Vallejo, Andrew M. Beresford, Sarah Jane Boss, Sarah V. Buxton, Marinela Garcia Sempere, Ryan D. Giles, Ariel Guiance, Lluís Ramon i Ferrer, Rebeca Sanmartín Bastida, Connie L. Scarborough, and Lesley K. Twomey.