Jesus of Nazareth in the Literature of Unamuno

Author(s) C.A. Longhurst

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism, Religion

Series: Iberian and Latin American Studies

  • July 2023 · 248 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781837720422
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781837720439
  • · eBook - epub - 9781837720446

About The Book

The Christian religion figures prominently in the vast output, both discursive and imaginative, of Miguel de Unamuno. Unamuno studied nineteenth-century biblical scholarship closely, especially that of the Liberal Protestant school, but its influence did not dictate his direction. Without fully accepting the traditional Roman Catholic interpretation of the New Testament, what position vis-a-vis Jesus of Nazareth did Unamuno occupy himself? How did he see this figure from the Palestine of two thousand years ago, which has been so influential in western culture? What role does the Nazarene play in Unamuno’s work? What does the presence of Jesus tell us about the Basque writer’s idiosyncratic and combative religious views that drew the opprobrium of the Spanish Church hierarchy? This study focuses on the figure of Jesus of Nazareth as he appears in Unamuno’s writings – including The Tragic Sense of Life, The Christ of Velázquez, The Agony of Christianity, and San Manuel Bueno, mártir.


‘Longhurst’s clear and carefully reasoned study shows how Unamuno took Christianity’s divinized Jesus and repositioned him as a human being – who, for Unamuno, often inspired faith in both the social vision and the eschatological possibilities that Jesus put forth.’

Thomas R. Franz, Professor Emeritus of Spanish, Ohio University

‘Unamuno’s God differs whenever he envisions him, and his Jesus is multifaceted – quixotic, tragic, human, embattled, of the people, poetic, and susceptible to cogent synthesis. Balancing depth and breadth, Jesus of Nazareth in the Literature of Unamuno pioneers study of Unamuno’s Jesus, omnipresent in its pages.’

Nelson R. Orringer, Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Comparative Literature, University of Connecticut

'Longhurst is a leading authority on Miguel de Unamuno. In this brilliant study of the figure of Jesus of Nazareth in Unamuno’s work, the reader is taken on a majestic sweep through literature, theology, art and philosophy. This is an essential and prodigious exploration of the human struggle between hope and agonismo.’

Revd Dr John McCulloch, Research Fellow and Senior Associate Editor, Bulletin of Spanish Studies


List of illustrations
Chapter 1: A Quixotic Jesus: From En torno al casticismo to Vida de Don Quijote y Sancho
Chapter 2: A Tragic Jesus: Del sentimiento trágico de la vida
Chapter 3: A Human Jesus: El Cristo de Velázquez
Chapter 4: An Embattled Jesus: La agonía del cristianismo
Chapter 5: A People’s Jesus: San Manuel Bueno, mártir
Chapter 6: A Poetic Jesus: From Poesías to Cancionero
Chapter 7: Conclusion: Unamuno and Jesus
Works cited

About the Author(s)

Author(s): C.A. Longhurst

C. A. Longhurst is Professor Emeritus of Spanish at the University of Leeds. He held the Cátedra Extraordinaria Miguel de Unamuno in the University of Salamanca in 2000, and was Visiting Professor at King’s College London from 2004 to 2011. He is a corresponding member of the Real Academia Sevillana de Buenas Letras.

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