A Winged Angel Alive and Aloft: An Apocalyptic Francis of Assisi in Colonial Latin America

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About the Program
In the late-Middle Ages, a new image of Francis of Assisi began to emerge: an apocalyptic
figure whose coming and deeds were read into the book of the Apocalypse
and prophetic literature. By the time the New World was discovered, those eschatological,
millennial, and utopian aspects of the saint and his friars had increased,
and they acted as a prism through which the evangelization of the Aztecs and Incas
was viewed. Later the figure of Francis of Assisi merged with indigenous myths in
Mexico and the Andes. There he took on a militant, even violent form depicted in
art as flying through the air or battling enemies, both human and superhuman. In
remote parts of Latin America, Francis still heralds the coming end of the world.
This illustrated lecture highlights this interpretation of the little giant of Assisi.
About Jaime Lara
Jaime Lara is the author of Christian Texts for Aztecs: Art and Liturgy in Colonial
Mexico and City, Temple, Stage: Eschatological Architecture and Liturgical Theatrics in
New Spain, both available through University of Notre Dame Press. Lara’s degrees
in art, architecture, liturgics, and anthropology include a Master of Sacred Theology
from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union and
University of California, Berkeley. Lara has taught at Yale University and the University
of Notre Dame and will be teaching at Northwestern University in 2013.
FREE and Open to the Public
Generously Sponsored By:
The Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict
Department of English at
Franciscan Renewal Center
Hispanic Research Center at
Institute for Humanities Research at
School of International Letters & Cultures
School of Transborder Studies
School of Historical, Philosophical & Religious Studies

Jaime R. Lara, Ph.D.

Social Sciences Building, Room 109 Arizona State University, Tempe Campus