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Local roots of the universal representation of the triumph: the aesthetic invention of the sacred during the canonisation of the first Jesuit saints (1622)

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2020
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From 1622 until 1624, the Jesuit colleges and houses scattered across the entire world celebrated the canonisation of Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier. For the most part, they chose to ignore the General¿s recommendation for moderation: they opted for some particularly spectacular celebrations in which the decorations rivalled those of Rome in their ingenuity and sumptuousness. This contribution aims at highlighting the ways the Jesuits skilfully incorporated elements of local festive culture as well as new ceremonial practices into their celebrations in order to trigger pleasure through surprise, this recourse to recreational means being part of an entire arsenal of conversion and teaching tactics. Through the analysis of the case of the commemorations orchestrated by the Jesuits in Antwerp in 1622, at the precise moment they are inaugurating their new church, we seek in particular to capture the way in which this case exemplifies the desire to create an event that mixes the ephemeral with the perennial as a way to celebrate sanctity with a great deal of artistic support.
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Entre 1622 y 1624 los colegios y casas jesuitas repartidos por todo el mundo celebraron la canonización de Ignacio de Loyola y Francisco Javier. La mayor parte de ellos ignoraron la recomendación del General de guardar moderación y optaron por solemnizar los actos litúrgicos con espectaculares celebraciones cuyas decoraciones rivalizaron con las de Roma en ingenio y suntuosidad. Esta contribución pretende destacar los caminos que siguieron los Jesuitas para incorporar tanto las tradiciones de la cultura festiva local como las prácticas del nuevo ceremonial en sus celebraciones a fin de provocar placer a través de la sorpresa; este método basado en la recreación de significados formó parte de todo un arsenal de recursos pedagógicos destinado a la conversión y la pastoral. El caso de las conmemoraciones organizadas por los Jesuitas en Amberes en 1622 que coincidieron con la inauguración de su nueva iglesia, ejemplifica el deseo de crear un acontecimiento que combinase lo efímero y lo perenne como vía para celebrar la santidad mediante el despliegue de un potente dispositivo escénico y artístico.
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