(Posted November 1, 2005)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Jose Nieto, professor emeritus of religion at Juniata College and an internationally known expert on the Miguel de Cervantes novel "Don Quixote," will give a talk on "Don Quixote's Penance in Sierra Morena" at the college at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 7 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Nieto's talk will focus on how a section of the epic Cervantes novel focuses on Don Quixote's travels in the vast Sierra Morena range and how the hero of the story, Don Quixote, performs penance by creating a rosary using a knotted scrap of material from his shirt. Nieto will discuss how this scene can be interpreted through the philosophical and religious movements of Cervantes' era.

In addition to Nieto's presentation, a section of "Don Quixote" will be read by a Juniata student majoring in Spanish. The section, taken from the first part of the two-part novel, is an impassioned feminist speech by Marcela, one of the characters in the novel.

Nieto notes that on the same day the U.S. Constitution was signed in Philadelphia in 1787, George Washington purchased a translation of "Don Quixote" and placed it at Mount Vernon. That edition has the feminist speech from Marcela bracketed in pencil.

Nieto is a world-renowned scholar of the history of religious thought, Spanish religious thought, Renaissance, Reformation, mysticism, philosophy of religion, history of religions, and cultural religious thought.

Nieto studied at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, the United Evangelical Seminary, Madrid, Spain, and Presbyterian College, Belfast, Ireland before coming to the United States to pursue his master's and doctoral degrees at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1967. He joined the Juniata faculty in 1967 as an assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor in 1969, and, in 1978, to full professor. He has continued his education at the Pontifical University of Salamance, Spain and at the University of Marburg, Germany.

Nieto has lectured at many higher educational institutions including the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Harvard.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.