Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Robert J. Bast

Committee Members

Sara Ritchey, Matthew Gillis


This thesis examines the role double lives played in sixteenth-century luteranismo in the Spanish city of Valladolid. Luteranismo’s existence in Valladolid and surrounding Castilian towns was fleeting. The Spanish Inquisition discovered the evangelical network within a couple years of its emergence and began a vigorous campaign to identify all its adherents and completely eradicate heresy. Why did luteranismo remain undetected as long as it did in a society closely monitored by the Inquisition? In this thesis, I argue that luteranismo owes its existence - albeit a brief one - to the fact that its adherents led double-lives. Luteranos in Castile took pains to keep their true beliefs and religious practices secret. They were guarded in their conversations and interactions with outsiders and only openly expressed their beliefs in the privacy and security of their homes. On the other hand, luteranos maintained a guise of Catholic orthodoxy by continuing to perform Catholic religious practices in public. The luterano community found itself exposed to the Inquisition's scrutiny once some of its members let the façade of Catholic orthodoxy slip and began to imprudently share their heterodox views with outsiders. In 1559, the Inquisition publicly condemned members of the luterano community as "wolves in sheep's clothing," an allusion to the double lives they had led in order to survive as a heterodox religious group in sixteenth-century Spain.

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