A Star, a Saint and a State: the Enduring Legend of Santiago de Compostela
Join Wadham alumnus, Dr Tony Morgan (French & Spanish 1965), former Head of Spanish, Anglia Ruskin University for an illustrated presentation examining the dynamic role of the legend from the early Middle Ages to the present day.
It discusses the origins of the legend in the 9th century, the unfolding role of Saint James in the Reconquest of Spain from Islam, the forging of Spanish nationalism until the fall of Granada in 1492, and the medieval vision of Christian Europe. The saint was then given credit for Spain’s imperial adventure in the Americas. The patriarchal power of the legend was contested in 17th century Spain, and reasserted in the 19th century. This discussion concludes with analysis of the co-option of Saint James to the service of Francoism, democracy in 20th century Spain and, finally, the religion of football in the 21st century.
Santiago de Compostela – icon of Christian Spain? European unity? European imperialism? Right-wing Spanish nationalism? Sporting Postmodernism? Or an incarnation of ethnosymbolism?