Boon on Religious Biography at the Lisbon ASPHS

Jessica Boon, in her paper, “Sin Rastro: How to Write Franciscan Religious Biography without Archives,” argues that while inquisition archives have proven to be so important for learning about religious figures, especially in the early 16th century, what about those who did not get into trouble with the inquisition, or whose records were lost? Using the example of Bernardino de Laredo, notary records and inquisition fragments can be useful. In Laredo’s case, Boon has been able to map out the social network of this Franciscan and apothecary, as many of his associates were conversos, although he himself was never called before the inquisition. These records can also demonstrate how the history of science can help us understand the nature of his mysticism, as contemporary scientific and medical theories of cognition and memory played a role in the intensely physical nature of his passion meditation. The paper, incidentally, is itself a fragment of Boon’s forthcoming work, The Mystical Science of the Soul: Bernardino of Laredo’s Recollection Method (University of Toronto Press, forthcoming spring 2012).


About emspanishhistorynotes

Scott Taylor is an associate professor in the history department at the University of Kentucky.


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