Care of Souls in Inquisition Spain

Feb 9, 2024
John Hope Franklin Room SSRB 224
1126 E 59th St.
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Lu Ann Homza College of William & Mary


This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact A wine and cheese reception will follow.

What did the practice of Christianity look like in a place shadowed by an inquisition? Were personal preferences, conversations, spiritual friendships, and religious questions off the table by default? Did clergy under the Spanish Inquisition neglect their duty to care for souls? Sixteenth-century Spaniards — regardless of their vocation, gender or education — defended and practiced a Catholicism that was rich in individual discretion, human communication, and theological inquiry. This talk lays out the evidence for an “inductive Catholicism,” which even Spanish inquisitors sometimes endorsed.


Lu Ann Homza is Harrison Chair and Professor of History at the College of William & Mary. Professor Homza received her B. A. in History from Scripps College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from The University of Chicago. She studies the religious, legal, and cultural history of Europe, especially Spain and Italy, between 1300-1650.  Her book, Religious Authority in the Spanish Renaissance, was published in 2000 by The Johns Hopkins University Press, and named by Choice as an outstanding academic book of the year.   She also authored the first English-language, primary source reader on the Spanish Inquisition, published by Hackett in 2006.  Based on a decade of research in Pamplona’s archives, her book Village Infernos and Witches’ Advocates: Witch Hunting in Navarre, 1609-1614appeared in January 2022 with Penn State University Press.