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"Spanish Catholicism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries has attracted considerable scholarly attention over the years. The work of theologians, humanists, mystics, and saints has been one focus of that attention. Another has been the investigation and suppression of heterodoxy by the Spanish Inquisition and the crown. William Christian is after a more elusive subject--the religious beliefs and practices of ordinary Spanish Christians. . . . A useful addition to the literature on Spanish religiosity in the sixteenth century."--Carla Rahn Phillips, Renaissance Quarterly
"[Christian] turns to the despised plebs, the peasants in the nave, dismissed by one of the greatest theologians of the day, Melchor Cano, on the ground that teaching them the techniques of mental prayer, for instance, would end in social disorder. Cano thought such matters were not for the likes of 'carpenters' wives,' presumably unconscious of the irony in his choice of the word carpenter. A valuable contribution to a fascinating and revealing area of study."--J. S. Cummins, History
"Dr. Christian is . . . To be congratulated for bringing these reports [of Philip II's chroniclers] to our attention. By targeting what he describes as the religion actually practiced by thousands of ordinary Spaniards, he has succeeded in opening a new and important chapter in the history of sixteenth-century Spain. . . . The originality of the subject and the wealth of detail that Christian has uncovered make this study mandatory reading for anyone seriously interested in the religious history of early modem Europe."--Richard L. Kagan, The Catholic Historical Review
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by William A. Christian Jr.: