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Luther in the Mouths of the People: Popular Representations of Lutheranism in Sixteenth-Century Spain

Sat, March 24, 4:00 to 5:30pm, Harrah's Hotel, 2nd Level - Fulton Street Salon II

Abstract

Apart from the knowledge that theologians and churchmen in the Hispanic world had of Reformation ideas, and despite the fact that books and broadsheets with a Lutheran theme were strictly prohibited in the Peninsula early on, it is possible to state that there existed a popular imaginary of Luther and Lutheranism in sixteenth-century Spain. This can be reconstructed from texts of popular production and reception, such as pamphlets, broadsheets, Inquisitorial trials or the theatre, and there were certain moments of transformation and change. This paper presents the most recurrent features of the popular imaginary of Luther and his movement in sixteenth-century Spain, using as a reference point the tension between institutional attempts to silence any outbreak of Lutheranism in Spain and the creative freedom of some social clusters, which would enable them to represent and “create their own image” of this reformation movement.

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