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Lecture by Prof. Frédéric Conrod from Florida Atlantic University

Thursday, October 8th at 2:00pm  in Max Kade Theater (Armstrong Hall), Colorado College

Sponsored by The P.F. Sheffer Fund

Although Don Quixote is recognized as an essentially secular novel, the first 'modern novel' on a planetary level, Cervantes' exposure to the Jesuits in Seville and Rome, as well as their influence in politics and society, helps us decode his text as a commentary on the thin lines existing between imagination and religion. The Counter-reformation, the time period in which Cervantes writes, sees a lot of theological debates around the use and misuse of imagination in the religious practice. At the heart of these debates stands the Society of Jesus, a Spanish-based order that will become a pillar of the Church of Rome, whose mission is to defend Catholicism from the Protestant Reformation. Moreover, the character of Don Quixote resembles in many aspects the founder of the Jesuit order, Ignatius of Loyola. This talk will explore the connections that can be made between this religious order and the hidalgo of La Mancha, the men who educated Cervantes and their influence on his writing, and, ultimately, their understanding of imagination and how Cervantes came to create Don Quixote in an atmosphere of religious tension and paranoia.

Spanish Thesis