Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo (or Menéndez Pelayo) was without doubt the leading figure of Spanish culture in the 19th century: master of the history of ideas, history, and contemporary criticism.
His work on Spain‘s Heterodox is not only a glorious tale of how Spain‘s Catholicism has heroically survived all attemps against her, it is also a beautiful work of prose, rendered into English for the first time by Eladia Gomez-Posthill.
The present volume deals with the challenges which faced early Christianity in Spain prior to the Middle Ages. Books Two and Three (in preparation) bring the history up to the eve of the Reformation.
As Menéndez Pelayo himself puts it, Spain‘s ancient adventures with heresy, supersition and esoterism are best told from the standpoint of Faith; by someone who understands the saga from within.
The author’s introduction to the first edition ends with a prayer: “May God give me the light of understanding and a humble firmness of will; may He steer and guide my pen to narrate without anger or bias the sad history of error among our peninsular people! May He grant that this history may foster enlightenment and benefit, not scandal, to Christians everywhere.”
Few books of ecclesiastical history make for such a gripping read.
The translator of this work, Eladia Gomez-Posthill, has taught at Oxford University and the Catholic University of Avila and has wide experience in the field of translation of spiritual texts.
Her translations from Spanish include “The Loving Struggle” by Juan de Los Angeles, published by Saint Austin Press, and “Lord, Who Are You?: The Names of Christ” by Jorge Cardinal Medina Estevez, published by Ignatius Press.