Accepted paper:

Strange Fruit: Gregorio Lopez and the Inquisition


Lia Nunes (Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies - University of Groningen)

Paper short abstract:

Gregorio Lopez [c.1542-1596] is considered one of the enigmatic figures of New Spain religious history. Although his story would become the basis of a long beatification process in the Vatican, his life is full of obscurities when it comes to asserting him any kind of identity.

Paper long abstract:

This paper will put into question the positive side of the prosecution proposed by the panel convenors. Following the footsteps of Gregorio Lopez from Iberia to America, and highlighting the moments when he crossed the Inquisition, I will question the productivity of formulations and endeavors by the actors on New Spain religious landscape in the last decades of the 16th century. Several times denounced, sometimes examined, Gregorio Lopez was always able to escape a formal process. Besides being one of the figures that many ecclesiastical authorities (as of other spheres of power) would look for intelectual, religious, spiritual council, he inspires exemplarity at the same time he is mentioned in several of the most severe inquisitorial processes against heresy in New Spain (crypto-jews and alumbrados). Filtering the Vida written by his companion Francisco Losa (the first cleric that supposedly examined him formally) while crossing it with other historical sources, I will try to characterize the networks and identities Gregorio used to avoid formal prosecution; and also the way this was (mis)used by the Catholic and Royal authorities to shape the religious identity of New Spain later on. If we can clearly see Gregorio as a strange fruit of persecution, we cannot dismiss the blood on the leaves and blood at the root, nor forget the bitter crop where it comes from.

panel P29
Defining religious deviance, creating novel identities: the fruits of persecution