City of Salamanca and the University
Salamanca is one of Spain's most culturally active cities, especially in the summer. Abundant sunshine envelops this historic university city which blends old Spain with the cosmopolitan university atmosphere. Located within three hours of Madrid and other historic sites, Salamanca is an ideal base from which to explore Spain and neighboring Portugal. The city and university have been graced by illustrious personalities including Miguel de Unamuno, Teresa of Jesus, Columbus, Fray Luis de León, Cervantes, Antonio de Nebrija, Ignatius of Loyola, and John of the Cross and many others. The Plaza Mayor is the most beautiful of Spain and Europe. The city, although medium in size, is privileged with an abundant amount of historic monuments thus making it a place of discovery and wonder. The University of Salamanca, founded in 1218, is the oldest university in Spain and fourth oldest in Europe. It has a prestigious reputation in Spanish literature, history, and linguistics. It has and does still enjoy a renowned reputation along with Oxford, Cambridge, and Sorbonne-Paris. At every stage of Spanish history both city and university have played a major role.
Salamanca, Spain 2014 Director
Dr. Alberto Ferreiro, was born in Mexico City and is a native speaker of Spanish. He was honored in 1983-84 with a Fulbright Fellowship to work on his doctoral dissertation in Barcelona-Madrid, Spain. He earned his B.A. and M.A. at the University of Texas-Arlington and a Ph.D. in medieval history at the University of California-Santa Barbara. He has published 7 books, over 80 scholarly articles mainly on medieval ecclesiastical Iberian history and is a frequent participant in international conferences. For 24 years he has been taking students to the University of Salamanca and has organized and led several two week Carmelite Spirituality Pilgrimages in Spain for adult learners. He is a tenured professor of European History at Seattle Pacific University where he has taught since 1986. He is also a summer Visiting Professor/Lecturer at the University of Salamanca and Founder-Director of the Centro Fray Luis de León.
Fray Luis de León
Fray Luís de León was born in Belmonte, [Cuenca, Aragón] in 1527/28, and died in Madrigal [Avila] 23 August 1591. In 1560 he completed his theological studies and was given the prestigious Thomas Aquinas Chair in theology at the University of Salamanca on December 14, 1561. He wrote numerous scripture commentaries on Job, Obadiah, Galatians, and the Song of Songs. All of his Old Testament commentaries were Christocentric, that is, he sought to flush out the Christological meaning of the texts. Without question his most popular and widely read work is the vernacular ‘De los Nombres de Cristo’ [The Names of Christ] some of which he composed in part while in the Inquisition jail. While the work is considered a masterpiece of early Spanish prose, that is not where its enduring significance is to be found. It is a work of deep contemplative reflection that is recognized as a classic of western spirituality. In 1588 he distinguished himself further by becoming the first editor of the works of St. Teresa of Jesus. Since March 28, 1856 he has been buried in the chapel of the Old University of Salamanca. He was honored again in April 25, 1869 with a statue that still stands today in the Patio de Escuelas of the University.