Immaculate Conflicts in New Spanish Convents: A Lecture by Cesar Favila

Dr. Favila will discuss the embodied musical world of nuns in early modern New Spain, as it relates the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and the ideal of virginity, derived from Chapter 1 one of his forthcoming monograph, Immaculate Sounds: The Musical Lives of Nuns in New Spain.

In this Florence Bayz Music Series event, Dr. Favila derives from Chapter 1 of his forthcoming monograph, Immaculate Sounds: The Musical Lives of Nuns in New Spain. Dr. Favila will discuss the embodied musical world of nuns in early modern New Spain, as it relates the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and the ideal of virginity. The sonification of virginity and the Virgin Mary became especially meaningful for nuns who vowed to defend the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception upon professing. Mary was framed as a resonator of God's voice, sonified and tied to the Incarnation through the daily singing of her Magnificat, which was essential to belief in her virginal status. The concept of virginity was moreover rhetorically associated with an aesthetically appealing imagined sound. In this regard, the talk also shows that the conflict between the Church's virginal ideal for nuns and the reality of non-virgin women wishing to profess as nuns was sublimated to yield immaculate sounds, the liturgical singing that elevated nuns as co-redeemers.

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