Black Bride of Christ: Chicaba, an African Nun in Eighteenth-Century Spain (Hardcover)

Black Bride of Christ: Chicaba, an African Nun in Eighteenth-Century Spain By Sue E. Houchins (Translator), Baltasar Fra-Molinero (Translator) Cover Image
By Sue E. Houchins (Translator), Baltasar Fra-Molinero (Translator)
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Teresa de Santo Domingo, born with the name Chicaba, was a slave captured in the territory known to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Spanish and Portuguese navigators and slave traffickers as La Mina Baja del Oro, the part of West Africa that extends through present-day eastern Ghana, Togo, Benin, and western Nigeria. Upon the death of her Spanish master, Chicaba was freed to enter a convent. The Dominicans of La Penitencia in Salamanca accepted her after she had been rejected by several other monasteries because of her skin color. Even in her own religious community, race put her at a disadvantage in the highly stratified social hierarchy of monastic houses of the era. Her life story is known to us through a document entitled Compendio de la vida ejemplar de la Venerable Madre Sor Teresa Juliana de Santo Domingo, which is the foundational documentary evidence in the case for beatification of this nun, and as such it is the most significant and comprehensive source of information about her.

This volume, the first English translation of the Compendio, is a hagiography, an example of a biographical genre that recounts the lives and describes the spiritual practices of saints officially canonized by the Church, respected ecclesiastical leaders, or holy people informally recognized by local devotees. The effort to have Chicaba canonized continues today, as Fra-Molinero and Houchins explore in their introduction to the volume.

About the Author

Baltasar Fra-Molinero is Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Bates College. Sue E. Houchins is Associate Professor of Africana and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Bates College. She is the editor of Spiritual Narratives in the Schomburg Series of Nineteenth-Century Black Women Writers.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780826521033
ISBN-10: 0826521037
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
Publication Date: November 27th, 2018
Pages: 336
Language: English