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City Temple Stage: Eschatalogical Architecture and Liturgic
Publisher: University of Notre Dame PressFormat: Hardcover
City, Temple, Stage is a new interpretation of the art, architecture, and liturgy created for the conversion of Aztecs and other native peoples of central Mexico by European Franciscan missionaries in the mid-sixteenth century. Jaime Lara contends that the design of missionary centers, or so-called “fortress monasteries,” can only be understood against the backdrop of the eschatological concerns of the age and the missionary techniques of the mendicant friars. Lara argues that these architectural constructions are quasi-theatrical sets for elaborate educational and liturgical events that acted as rehearsals for the last age of world history. By analyzing the iconography associated with the Aztec religion and with Euro-Christian apocalyptic texts, Lara has been able to identify a consistent thread connecting the religious and liturgical imaginations of these juxtaposed cultures. The close parallels between the symbols and metaphors of Aztec religion and medieval Catholicism fostered an unusual synthesis between their different world visions. These visual, literary, and cultic metaphors survive in what we today call Mexican Catholicism.Drawing on his expertise as a medievalist, Latin Americanist, and architectural and liturgical historian, Lara offers an astonishingly comprehensive and compelling examination of the churches and liturgies created by the Franciscans for new Aztec Christians. Lara's fascinating narrative is supplemented by more than 230 images.
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