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About us Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies Organization Staff PhD Research Christianity and the History of Ideas

Lia Nunes

Never-End (Hi)story: Gregorio Lopez and his models

“No hay secreto, todo es claro, medio dia es para mi.”

(“There is no secret, all is clear, for me it is noon.”) - Gregorio Lopez [c.1542 – 1596].

In Losa, Francisco. Vida que el siervo de Dios Gregório Lopez hizo en algunos lugares de la Nueva España… Madrid : António del Ribero Rodriguez, Mercador de Libros, 1648

He had a globe and a map made with his owne handes very truly and exactly, […]”

In Losa, Francisco. The life ofGregorieLopesthat great servant of God,natiueof Madrid, writtenin Spanish by Father Losa curate of theCathedrallof Mexico … Translated by Thomas White. Paris : [Widow of J. Blagaert], [1638]

Gregorio Lopez [c.1542-1596]
Gregorio Lopez [c.1542-1596]

A man with an earth globe, a map and a bible. The legend of Gregorio Lopez was told in many ways from the 16th century to the present day. For diverse goals, within a medley of meanings and agendas: he was a “servant of God” (Losa), a “pre-quietista” (Molinos, Dudon, Martins), a “milenarist” and alumbrado (Milhou), an ascetic hermit (Huerga), a “failed” colonial saint (Rubial Garcia, Bilinkoff); in resume an original Spanish Catholic sample of the New World (Mexico)’s Church. By writing the historical biography of this 16th century man, I’ll try to understand how he became a model and whose model(s) he imitated and embraced.

After dissecting the body of knowledge built around him, and approaching it from different disciplines (philosophical, theological, anthropological, sociological, psychological), I’ll try to get to his own examples. History is like “police work” (Pimentel) and at the same time “it is the best novel ever” (Lourenço). My purpose then is to make a historical interpretation of Gregorio Lopez and his models: the ones he took and the ones he became. Through discourse analysis, symbolic anthropology, social network analysis, book history, I will try to interpret Gregorio’s world(s), knowledge(s), and life(s). Like for any other homo historicus, the time and place he was born and raised, but also the persons he imitated, studied, heard, saw and knew, made him the man he ended up to be.

Where does the “Once upon a time” starts in this story? A 16th century layman in the New Spain, carrying an Earth Globe, a Map and a Bible? An author that writes a Explicacíon del misterioso libro del Apocalypsis and a Tesoro de Medicinas? An Iberian man exploring the possibilities of new geographical, spiritual and cultural worlds?

Last modified:07 September 2020 3.15 p.m.