Calderon and Aquinas
Newman, Richard William
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A considerable portion of the literary output of Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1600-1681) consisted of religious plays, comedias de santos and autos sacramentales. The former are plays dealing with religious themes, pious legends, lives of saints, conversions of pagans, etc., whereas the latter are one-act allegories, written especially for the feast of Corpus Christi and commemorating Christ's institution of the Holy Eucharist. In this religious drama Calderon serves as a champion for the Catholicism of the Counter-Reformation period, reemphasizing the doctrines which had been placed under attack by the Protestant Reformers. Throughout these dramatic works Calderon makes frequent references to the philosophical, theological and liturgical writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas. All during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the works of the great Italian saint have been revived in Spain. They were adopted as the standard texts of instruction in philosophy and theology. The University of Salamanca, where Calderon pursued his theological studies, became the center of the neo-Thomist movement.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University, 1956