SACRED MOUNTAINS IN EUROPE AND AMERICA
THE FINAL CHAPTER in Part Two brings together several of the themes considered in "The Religious World of the Laity": the plastic arts and drama as forms of lay religious expression; the use of lay devotion in the interests of "civic religion"; and the political potential of lay religious associations to act for, or against, the state. Tracing the sacromonte format across three centuries, and from Europe to the New World, George Kubler illustrates the vitality and malleability of these architectural/ sculptural/pictorial re-creations of the Via Crucis, introduced into northern Italy in the late quattrocento by the Franciscans as an alternative to the costly and perilous pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Professor Kubler's study of four "sacred mountains" makes clear the relationship of these scenographic tableaux to religious theater; their adaptability to new social needs; and the range of social messages communicable through such dramatic, "kinesthetic" means: in this case a slave rebellion fostered by Brazilian confraternities which at one point involved Thomas Jefferson and the United States government.
GEORGE KUBLER is Sterling Professor emeritus of Yale University, and has been Senior Visiting Kress Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. He is best known for publications on Spanish Renaissance art and on the art and architecture of ancient Central and South America, and for theoretical works in the tradition of his teacher Henri Focillon.