March 2015: Dr. Lauren Kilroy, Noble Organ and Grotesque Idol: The Sacred Heart of Jesus in Colonial Mexico

Kilroy

March 15, 2015 at 3pm

Dr. Lauren Kilroy

Noble Organ and Grotesque Idol: The Sacred Heart of Jesus in Colonial Mexico

In 1780, the Mexican Inquisition objected to celebration of the Sacred Heart of Christ, claiming the devotion as “useless, vain, reprehensible, and scandalous.” Only fifty years prior, however, the devotional cult of Christ’s heart was celebrated with much pomp throughout the Spanish colony of New Spain (colonial Mexico, 1521–1821), and imagery of the Sacred Heart flooded churches, convents, homes, and even public spaces. What caused the cult and its accompanying representations to come under attack by the Inquisition? Is one possible reason, as some scholars have suggested, that the Sacred Heart related to Aztec heart sacrifice and was thus viewed as idolatrous? This talk investigates the heart in Aztec and Novohispanic culture and art and the possible resonance of Aztec notions of the heart into the colonial period.

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