Episode 14- Black Saints in the Early Modern Hispanic World


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Even as the enslavement of black Africans became widespread in the Atlantic World and modern racism was developing, the veneration of black saints was also on the rise in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. In this episode, Professor Erin Rowe discusses who these saints were and who venerated them. We consider how hagiographers argued that these holy people of African descent could be saintly at a time when many questioned the ability of non-whites to be fully Christian. We also examine how the sculptures of these saints celebrate their blackness as part of their spirituality, suggesting that even in this period of slavery, ideas and discourses about race were far from homogeneous.