It would seem unlikely that one could discover tolerant religious attitudes in Spain, Portugal, and the New World colonies during the era of the Inquisition, when enforcement of Catholic orthodoxy was widespread and brutal. Yet this groundbreaking book does exactly that. Drawing on an enormous body of historical evidence—including records of the Inquisition itself—the historian Stuart Schwartz investigates the idea of religious tolerance and its evolution in the Hispanic world from 1500 to 1820. Focusing on the attitudes and beliefs of common people rather than those of intellectual elites, the author finds that no small segment of the population believed in freedom of conscience and rejected the exclusive validity of the Church. The book explores various sources of tolerant attitudes, the challenges that the New World presented to religious orthodoxy, the complex relations between “popular” and “learned” culture, and many related topics. The volume concludes with a discussion of the relativist ideas that were taking hold elsewhere in Europe during this era.
This book tracks New Spain's mendicant orders past their so-called golden age of missions into the ensuing centuries and demonstrates that they had equally crucial roles in what Melvin terms the "spiritual consolidation" of cities.Beginning in the late sixteenth century, cities became home to the majority of friars and to the orders' wealthiest houses, and mendicants became deeply embedded in urban social and cultural life. Friars ministered to urban residents of all races and social standings and engaged in traditional mendicant activities, serving as preachers, confessors, spiritual directors, alms collectors, educators, scholars, and sponsors of charitable works. Each order brought to this work a distinct identity that informed people's beliefs and shaped variations in the practice of Catholicism. Contrary to prevailing views, mendicant orders flourished during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and even the eighteenth-century reforms that ended this era were not as devastating as has been assumed.Even in the face of new institutional challenges, the demand for their services continued through the end of the colonial period, demonstrating the continued vitality of baroque piety.
"Christian Texts for Aztecs: Art and Liturgy in Colonial Mexico is a cultural history of the missionary enterprise in sixteenth-century Mexico, seen primarily through the work of Catholic missionaries and the native populations, principally the Aztecs. Jaime Lara's new work addresses the inculturation of Catholic sacraments and sacramentals into an Aztec worldview in visual and material terms. He argues that the pre-Tridentine Catholic liturgy - similar in some ways to pre-Hispanic worship - effectively "conquered" the religious imagination of its new Mesoamerican practitioners, thus creating the basis for a uniquely Mexican Catholicism."--BOOK JACKET.
The decline of the native population following the Spanish conquest of New Spain in 1521, among other factors, led to an increased demand for African slaves to add to the labor force and bolster the colonial economy. Approximately two hundred thousand Africans were imported into Mexico from Spain and from West and West Central Africa during the course of the slave trade. These "Afro-Mexicans" encompassed a great variety of individuals and experiences whose ritual lives differed as much as their backgrounds. Some were Christians who took communion, confessed, and celebrated Mass. Some were blasphemers who were denounced to the Inquisition. Still others were practitioners of mystical rites meant to cure illness, attract lovers, or control owners. Focusing on the time period from the intensification of slave importation in 1580 to approximately 1700, Joan Bristol presents information from Mexican Inquisition documents.Christians, Blasphemers, and Witchesexplores how Afro-Mexicans worked within the limitations imposed on them by the Church and the Spanish Crown in order to develop relationships with peers and superiors, defend themselves against unjust treatment, make money, and gain prestige on the local level.
"City, Temple, Stage is a new interpretation of the art, architecture, and liturgy created for the conversion of Aztecs and other native peoples of central Mexico by European Franciscan missionaries in the mid-sixteenth century. Jaime Lara contends that the design of missionary centers, or so-called "fortress monasteries," can only be understood against the backdrop of the eschatological concerns of the age and the missionary techniques of the mendicant friars. Lara argues that these architectural constructions are quasi-theatrical sets for elaborate educational and liturgical events that served as rehearsals for the last age of world history." "By analyzing the iconography associated with the Aztec religion and with Euro-Christian apocalyptic texts, Lara has been able to trace a consistent thread through two distinct religious and liturgical imaginations." "Lara's narrative is supported by more than 225 images."--BOOK JACKET.
One cannot understand Latin America without understanding the history of the Catholic Church in the region. Catholicism has been predominant in Latin America and it has played a definitive role in its development. it helped to spur the conquest of the New World with its emphasis on missions To The indigenous peoples, controlled many aspects of the colonial economy, and played key roles in the struggles for Independence. The History of the Catholic Church in Latin Americaoffers a concise yet far-reaching synthesis of this institution's role from the earliest contact between the Spanish and native tribes until the modern day, The first such historical overview available in English.
Sometime in the 1740s, Sor María Magdalena, an indigenous noblewoman living in one of only three convents in New Spain that allowed Indians to profess as nuns, sent a letter to Father Juan de Altamirano to ask for his help in getting church prelates to exclude Creole and Spanish women from convents intended for indigenous nuns only. Drawing on this and other such letters—as well as biographies, sermons, and other texts—Mónica Díaz argues that the survival of indigenous ethnic identity was effectively served by this class of noble indigenous nuns.
While colonial sources that refer to indigenous women are not scant, documents in which women emerge as agents who actively participate in shaping their own identity are rare. Looking at this minority agency—or subaltern voice—in various religious discourses exposes some central themes. It shows that an indigenous identity recast in Catholic terms was able to be effectively recorded and that the religious participation of these women at a time when indigenous parishes were increasingly secularized lent cohesion to that identity.
The Inquisition! Just the word itself evokes, to the modern reader, endless images of torment, violence, corruption, and intolerance committed in the name of Catholic orthodoxy and societal conformity. But what do most people actually know about the Inquisition, its ministers, its procedures? This systematic, comprehensive look at one of the most important Inquisition tribunals in the New World reveals a surprisingly diverse panorama of actors, events, and ideas that came into contact and conflict in the central arena of religious faith. Edited and annotated by John F. Chuchiak IV, this collection of previously untranslated and unpublished documents from the Holy Office of the Inquisition in New Spain provides a clear understanding of how the Inquisition originated, evolved, and functioned in the colonial Spanish territories of Mexico and northern Central America. The three sections of documents lay out the laws and regulations of the Inquisition, follow examples of its day-to-day operations and procedures, and detail select trial proceedings. Chuchiak's opening chapter and brief section introductions provide the social, historical, political, and religious background necessary to comprehend the complex and generally misunderstood institutions of the Inquisition and the effect it has had on societal development in modern-day Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Featuring fifty-eight newly translated documents, meticulous annotations, and trenchant contextual analysis, this documentary history is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to understand the Inquisition in general and its nearly three-hundred-year reign in the New World in particular.
Mexican Karismatachronicles the life of Francisca de los Ángeles (1674–1744), the daughter of a poor Creole mother and mestizo father who became a renowned holy woman in her native city of Querétaro, Mexico, during the high Baroque period. As a precocious young visionary and later as the headmistress of an important religious institution for women, Francisca actively partook in the project to revitalize the Catholic cult in New Spain’s northern regions led by her mentors, the Spanish missionaries of the Congregation for the Propagation of Faith. Her copious correspondence, containing hundreds of unedited letters, documents the personal experience of popular Catholicism during the high Baroque period in New Spain.
Trying to understand how “civilized” people could embrace fascism, Hannah Arendt searched for a precedent in modern Western history. She found it in nineteenth-century colonialism, with its mix of bureaucratic rule, racial superiority, and appeals to rationality.Modern Inquisitionstakes Arendt’s insights into the barbaric underside of Western civilization and moves them back to the sixteenth century and seventeenth, when Spanish colonialism dominated the globe. Irene Silverblatt describes how the modern world developed in tandem with Spanish imperialism and argues that key characteristics of the modern state are evident in the workings of the Inquisition. Her analysis of the tribunal’s persecution of women and men in colonial Peru illuminates modernity’s intricate “dance of bureaucracy and race.” Drawing on extensive research in Peruvian and Spanish archives, Silverblatt uses church records, evangelizing sermons, and missionary guides to explore how the emerging modern world was built, experienced, and understood by colonists, native peoples, and Inquisition officials: Early missionaries preached about world history and about the races and nations that inhabited the globe; Inquisitors, able bureaucrats, defined who was a legitimate Spaniard as they executed heretics for “reasons of state”; the “stained blood” of Indians, blacks, and descendants of Jews and Moors was said to cause their deficient character; and native Peruvians began to call themselves Indian.
This extraordinary book encompasses the time period from the first Christian evangelists' arrival in Latin America to the dictators of the late twentieth century. With unsurpassed knowledge of Latin American history, John Lynch sets out to explore the reception of Christianity by native peoples and how it influenced their social and religious lives as the centuries passed. As attentive to modern times as to the colonial period, Lynch also explores the extent to which Indian religion and ancestral ways survived within the new Christian culture. The book follows the development of religious culture over time by focusing on peak periods of change: the response of religion to the Enlightenment, the emergence of the Church from the wars of independence, the Romanization of Latin American religion as the papacy overtook the Spanish crown in effective control of the Church, the growing challenge of liberalism and the secular state, and in the twentieth century, military dictators' assaults on human rights. Throughout the narrative, Lynch develops a number of special themes and topics. Among these are the Spanish struggle for justice for Indians, the Church's position on slavery, the concept of popular religion as distinct from official religion, and the development of liberation theology.
Examines in detail the murals painted on the vault walls of the Augustinian monastery at Malinalco, southwest of Mexico City, which have been progressively uncovered from layers of whitewash and restored since the 1970s. Shows how the combination of motives promoted the political and religious agendas of the Spanish conquerors, but also preserved a record of pre-Columbian rituals and imagery. - Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The vast literature on Our Lady of Guadalupe dominates the study of shrines and religious practices in Mexico. But there is much more to the story of shrines and images in Mexico's religious history than Guadalupe and Marian devotion. In this book, a distinguished historian brings together his new and recent essays on previously unstudied or reconsidered places, themes, patterns, and episodes in Mexican religious history during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.
William Taylor explores the use of local and regional shrines, and devotion to images of Christ and Mary, including Our Lady of Guadalupe, to get to the heart of the politics and practices of faith in Mexico before the Reforma. Each of these essays touches on methodological and conceptual matters that open out to processes and paradoxes of change and continuity, exposing the symbolic complexity behind the material representations.
In Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ Carolyn Dean investigates the multiple meanings of the Roman Catholic feast of Corpus Christi as it was performed in the Andean city of Cuzco after the Spanish conquest. By concentrating on the era's paintings and its historical archives, Dean explores how the festival celebrated the victory of the Christian God over sin and death, the triumph of Christian orthodoxy over the imperial Inka patron (the Sun), and Spain's conquest of Peruvian society. As Dean clearly illustrates, the central rite of the festival--the taking of the Eucharist--symbolized both the acceptance of Christ and the power of the colonizers over the colonized. The most remarkable of Andean celebrants were those who appeared costumed as the vanquished Inka kings of Peru's pagan past. Despite the subjugation of the indigenous population, Dean shows how these and other Andean nobles used the occasion of Corpus Christi as an opportunity to construct new identities through tinkuy, a native term used to describe the conjoining of opposites. By mediating the chasms between the Andean region and Europe, pagans and Christians, and the past and the present, these Andean elites negotiated a new sense of themselves. Dean moves beyond the colonial period to examine how these hybrid forms of Inka identity are still evident in the festive life of modern Cuzco. Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ offers the first in-depth analysis of the culture and paintings of colonial Cuzco. This volume will be welcomed by historians of Peruvian culture, art, and politics. It will also interest those engaged in performance studies, religion, and postcolonial and Latin American studies.