Fray Joaquín Bolaños’s <em>La Portentosa Vida de la Muerte</em>: an apocalyptic millenarian text
Author(s)Mercedes Serna Arnaiz
colegios de Propaganda Fide
Latin America. Spanish America
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AbstractThis essay explores the ideological basis for La Portentosa Vida de la Muerte, an eighteenth- century colonial text written by a Franciscan monk resident in Mexico. The study shows that this work, written in the wake of the social and historical changes of the late eighteenth century, draws on humor and makes rhetorical use of the fear of death as a pretext for moralizing, preaching and urging readers to lead an honest life in accordance with the precepts of Christian doctrine. However, the study also stresses that underlying Bolaños’ text is an apocalyptic line of thought that is close to Joachimism or millenarianism. Equally important features of the La Portentosa Vida de la Muerte are also discussed, including its apologia for the Franciscan Order and the author’s fear of the rationalism and secularism of the time.