Ars Moriendi Manuals, Paintings, and Funeral Rituals in Late Medieval Europe and Sixteenth Century Mexico ( New Spain ): Learning How to Live by Learning How to Die

Price:$239.95 + shipping
(Click the PayPal button to buy)
The Ars moriendi manual, which had been popular because of its brevity and concision, was chosen by the Franciscan Order as an essential text for promoting the Christian doctrine in New Spain and for re-organizing the funerary practices therein. This book identifies the official and unofficial discourses of the Church regarding Salvation and the funerary practices of New Spain that link the Old World to the New.


“The question of how to prepare oneself for a good death was no trifling matter in the society of New Spain… it was a central issue…Dr. Bastante’s research is of paramount importance, as her book represents an enormous contribution to contemporary studies on this topic. It is a fundamental work for all those who are interested in fathoming the mentality of New Spain as well as modern-day Mexico…An interesting aspect to emphasize is how Dr. Bastante initiates dialogues with other contemporary discourses related to the fields of history, literature, art and music. She analyses the theme of death in the popular songs and the poetry of this historical period and underlines how the study of the specific literary traditions of the Ars bene moriendi makes it possible to understand how some of these genres came into being”
-Dr. Alma Montero Alarcón,
Museo Nacional del Virreinato,
Instituto nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico

“This work definitely goes beyond the exploration of a theme in the official discourse of the Church – as is stated in the Introduction – to register both the emergence of modern subjectivity, as well as the input of popular culture in Europe and the Americas. This monograph is to be commended for its clarity: it offers a strong review of the scholarly approach to the topic, as well as a very helpful reading of classic (but not well known nor very accessible) primary texts.”
-Professor Catherine Poupeney Hart,
University of Montreal, Canada

Table of Contents

Foreword by Alma Montero Alarcón
Chapter 1: Medieval Attitudes Toward Penance, Salvation and Death
- Canon 21 “Omnis utriusque sexus”: A Solution for a Complete Salvation
- The Black Death: Changes in Attitudes Toward Death and Salvation
- The Macabre:Representations of Death in Literature and Art
- Other attitudes toward Death in Late-medieval Spain
Chapter 2: Structuring Death: The Genesis of the Ars Moriendi Tradition
- The Requirements for the Soul’s Salvation and the Origins of the Ars moriendi
- The Structuring of Death
- The Theatricality of Death in the Arte de bien morir
- A Bad Death
- A Good Death: The Arte de Bien Morir
- Instructions for the Moriens and Satan’s Final Five Temptations
- The First Temptation: Placing Doubt on the Christian Faith
- The First Inspiration; Reinforcing the Moriens’ Faith
- The Devil’s Second Temptation 2: Despair
- The Angel’s Second Inspiration on how to Avoid Despair
- Satan’s Third Temptation: Impatience
- The Angel’s Third Inspiration on How to Remain Patient
- The Fourth Temptation of the Devil: Vainglory
- The Fourth Inspiration on How to avoid Falling into Vainglory
- The Devil’s Last Temptation: Avarice
- The Angel’s Fifth Inspiration: Advice against Avarice
- Final Observations in the Arte de bien morir y Breve confesionario
Chapter 3: Counseling the Dying in the Sixteenth-Century: The New Ars moriendi Manuals
- Wills and Testaments in Sixteenth-Century Spain
- The Positioning of the body in Death and burial
- The Funeral Cortége
- The New Ars Moriendi Manuals of the Sixteenth Century
- Erasmus of Rotterdam’s Preparación y aparejo para bien morir
- Alejo Venegas’ the Agonía del tránsito de la muerte
- Accepting Death and God’s Will
- Can the Soul Communicate with the Living?
Chapter 4: The Franciscans and the Spiritual Conquest of New Spain
- Joachim of Flora and the Franciscan Order’s Millenarian views:
- Converting the Mexica in new Spain
- Evangelism in New Spain; Complications in (Mis)Interpreting the Mexicas?
- The Mexica Cosmology and Religion
- A “Bad” Death and Funerals in the Mexica Tradition
- How the Franciscians Convinced the Mexicas to Accept Christianity
- The Indios Cantores: Who Were They and What Was Their Function in New Spain?
- Dying Well in New Spain: Death, Burial and Indulgences in the Sixteenth-Century
- The Open-Air Chapels of Huejotzingo and San Andrés de Calpan
Chapter 5: Two Novo-Hispanic Versions of the Arte de bien morir
- Zumárraga’s Translation of the Doctrina Cristiana
- Rivalries between the Mendicant Orders in New Spain
- Defining and Identifying Idolatry in New Spain
- Fray Juan de Zumárraga, the Regla Cristiana breve (1547), and the “de la memoria y aparejo para bien morir
- Life, Death and Renewal According to Mikhail Bakhtin
- How the Secularization of the Church Affected Funerary Ritual in New Spain
- A Guide for Crafting a Proper Testament
- Conclusions
Chapter 6: The Eighteenth Century: New Attitudes Toward Death
- Confraternities in New Spain
- The Casa Profesa’s Congregación de la Buena Muerte
- Financial Records and Indulgences
- Coming Full Circle
Chapter 7: Conclusions
Primary Texts
Secondary Texts
Subject Index
Author Index

Other Art-Religious Books