Monday, April 28


An Unusual Instance of Pre-Tridentine Inculturation

"Hernando de Talavera, the confessor of Queen Isabella [of Spain], was appointed first archbishop [of Granada]. He encouraged conversion by means of charitable persuasion, respect for Mudéjar language and culture, and the use of Arabic during religious services. A Morisco leader, who in his youth was page to Talavera, recalled how the archbishop went through the mountains of Granada to preach and say mass. Since there was no organ for music, he made the natives play the zambra (a traditional dance) and during mass he always said the greeting 'The Lord be with you' in Arabic. 'I remember this,' the Morisco reminisced, 'as if it were yesterday.' "

~Henry Kamen, Empire: How Spain Became a World Power, 1492-1763. Perennial, 2003.

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