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Theologies of Transformation in Don Quixote


Pamela H. Long

This text examines the character of Don Quixote, the book describing his fictional exploits, and their implications in the theological realm as well as in the fictive, using Gónzalez and Maldonado’s definition of theology as "la explicación de la realidad cósmica" ["the explanation of cosmic reality"], including the identity and nature of God. The first chapter examines the implications of the basin-helmet in El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de La Mancha, in context with the historical and theological developments of the end of the sixteenth century. The second chapter looks first at the religious climate of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in Spain and the rest of Europe to tease-out the theological and ecclesiastical preoccupations that undergird much of the content in Don Quixote. The third chapter examines a few details from the life of Miguel de Cervantes in order to place him within the historical and literary context examined in the second chapter, and the fourth chapter examines chivalry as a mode of religious life. The fifth chapter then approaches various other characters, events, and discussions in the novel that carry religious content, and the sixth considers transformation, transubstantiation, and translation, using the topos of the baciyelmo as a metaphor for Cervantes.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Long, Pamela H., author. Title: Baciyelmo: theologies of transformation in Don Quixote / written by Pamela Long. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2019. Series: Ibérica; vol. 45 | ISSN 1056-5000 Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018037775 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3986-4 (hardback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3987-1 (ebook pdf) | ISBN 978-1-4331-3988-8 (epub) ISBN 978-1-4331-3989-5 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 1547–1616. Don Quixote. | Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 1547–1616—Religion. | Theology in literature. Classification: LCC PQ6358.R4 L66 | DDC 863/.3—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/978-1-4331-3987-1 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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