In the context of the Catholic Monarchy, which was governed by the Habsburgs who considered themselves the chosen one for leading Christianity, many people considered themselves the authentic messengers of God. The politics and culture of modern Spain gave rise to it. The result was a discourse that legitimized the ... (Show more)
In the context of the Catholic Monarchy, which was governed by the Habsburgs who considered themselves the chosen one for leading Christianity, many people considered themselves the authentic messengers of God. The politics and culture of modern Spain gave rise to it. The result was a discourse that legitimized the power of the Monarchy, but could also rebel against it if it evaded the control of the authorities.
The Catholic Church was the institution most vulnerable in this situation; the intimate spiritual trends threatened the basis of its existence: the control of divine knowledge. For this reason, the ecclesial efforts were led to establish a clear and defined orthodoxy. This line was supported by the civil authorities of the Monarchy. We should remember the Church was the essential base for the control and social discipline during the Old Regime in Spain. However, the formative and preventive measures were not always effective, forcing the Holy Inquisition to act against the prophets and visionaries.
Many men and women considered themselves, and were socially accepted, as prophets and messengers of God. Sometimes we think that all of them were mystics, people of a great inner religiosity, however, we must not forget that for each spiritual there were many others who had a much more popular profile. Being in a direct communication with the divinity, prophetism escaped from the ecclesiastical control while having a great prestige in a society that was as religious as superstitious. In a certain way, the prophets personify the desires and social needs, while the ecclesiastical action is a symptom of the fears and misgivings of authorities.
Most historians agree with these premises, within the complexity and variety of the field. We intend to deepen in it through diverse documentary sources and methodologies. In this line, one of the main questions is to know the real intervention of the Inquisition in the face of this reality, and especially, to discover the real practices of the court, the attitudes of its ministers as well as the situation, discourses and profiles of the accused prophets. Through the inquisitorial trials, we can know the circumstances that religion and power hide among its complexities. In this sense, we will be able to reveal the lives of those who using prophetism tried to develop alternative worlds, or perhaps simply survive, and those who used their authority to face them to maintain the established order. (Show less)