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Loyola's Acts: The Rhetoric Of The Self
by Marjorie O`rourke Boyle
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This revisionist view of Ignatius Loyola argues that his "autobiography"--until now taken to be a literal, documentary account--is in reality a work of rhetoric, a moral narrative that exploits the techniques of fiction. In radically reinterpreting this canonical text, our main source of information about the founder of the largest and most powerful religious order in Roman Catholicism, Boyle paints a vivid picture of Loyola's world. She surveys rhetorical and artistic theory, religious iconography, everyday custom, and an astonishing array of scenes and subjects: from curiosity, to codes of honor, to the holy places of Spain, to the significance of apparitions and flying serpents.
Written in the tradition of Renaissance studies on individualism, Loyola's Acts engages current interest in autobiography and in the history of private life. The book also provides a powerful heuristic for interpreting a wide range of texts of the Christian tradition. Finally, this secular treatment of a canonized saint provides revealing insights into how a prestigious sixteenth-century figure like Loyola understood himself.
From the Inside Flap
"Fascinating, brilliantly argued . . . makes a genuinely original contribution to understanding one of the seminal figures of the Reformation/Counterreformation. It exemplifies scholarship of a range and seriousness unusual these days."--Anthony Low, author of The Reinvention of Love
From the Back Cover
"Fascinating, brilliantly argued . . . makes a genuinely original contribution to understanding one of the seminal figures of the Reformation/Counterreformation. It exemplifies scholarship of a range and seriousness unusual these days." (Anthony Low, author of The Reinvention of Love)
About the Author
Marjorie O'Rourke Boyle is a cultural historian specializing in the rhetoric of religion. She is the author of five previous books, most recently Divine Domesticity (1996) and Petrarch's Genius: Pentimento and Prophecy (California, 1991).
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