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The autos sacramentales of Sor Juana Inés de la CruzNatural Philosophy and Sacramental Theology$
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Alice Brooke

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198816829

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198816829.001.0001

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Bread of Heaven

Bread of Heaven

Types and Figures in El Cetro de José

(p.81) 2 Bread of Heaven
The autos sacramentales of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Alice Brooke

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the treatment of knowledge in El cetro de José. First, it demonstrates how Sor Juana builds on the theories of demonic knowledge put forward by Thomas Aquinas and Francisco Suárez to present the dangers of reliance on natural knowledge without the need for faith. In particular, it explores the unreliability of conjecture to distinguish between reality and appearance, and thus to understand both the literal and the figurative significance of things. It then explores how Sor Juana uses her two protagonists, José and Jacob, to put forward an approach to the relationship between knowledge and faith that emphasizes the importance of both the finite and the infinite, and the visible and the invisible, to a full understanding of both the material world and its transcendental significance.

Keywords:   El cetro de José, demonic knowledge, Francisco Suárez, Thomas Aquinas, Genesis, figuration

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