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Grant number like: RQ-271230-20

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SUNY Research Foundation, Albany (Albany, NY 12222-0001)
Louise M. Burkhart (Project Director: December 2019 to present)
Daniel O. Mosquera (Co Project Director: December 2019 to present)

Scholarly Editions and Translations
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$146,179 (approved)
$144,252 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2020 – 9/30/2023

Passion Plays of Eighteenth-Century Mexico: Nahuatl and Spanish Festival Performances Under the Eye of the Inquisition

Preparation for publication of a digital edition of 10 colonial Mexican Passion plays and contextualizing historical documents. (24 months)

Both Indigenous and Spanish-speaking residents of colonial Mexico put on performances of the Passion of Christ, creating locally-embodied enactments of this core Christian narrative. Always embroiled in disputes over religious authority and orthodoxy, these staged spectacles fell under stricter censure in the mid-eighteenth century, as church authorities added an Enlightenment-inspired disdain for emotive display to their distrust of popular, especially Indigenous, religion. Our digital publication project illuminates this facet of Mexican religious history by providing open access to four confiscated Spanish plays and related reports from an Inquisition investigation (1768–70), and to six Nahuatl-language plays from the same era. It hosts English translations and paleographic and standardized transcriptions. Essays on each play and on themes that cross-cut the corpus will orient users with respect to inter-connections and context, and suggest further research and student projects.