Letting Yourself Be Skinned Alive: Jerónimo Gracián and the Globalization of Martyrdom

In: Journal of Early Modern History
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  • 1 University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA

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Abstract

This article explores the close connection that existed between an increasingly globalized world and the revived ideal of martyrdom that characterized early modern Europe. This ideal energized Catholic societies, the Spanish Empire above all, in their impulse to convert the entire world to Christianity, in that way decisively expanding the geographical horizons of many of its inhabitants. The article focuses on the Spanish Discalced Carmelite Jerónimo Gracián, a close friend and ally of Teresa of Ávila. Despite being hardly known nowadays, he can be considered a prototypical figure of the period, because of the forceful and compelling ways in which he expressed the intersection of martyrdom and world evangelization.

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