Bartolome de Las Casas: Great Prophet of the Americas / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook


"Bartolome de las Casas (1484-1566) came to the New World in pursuit of material wealth, became virtually a slave owner, and ended up suddenly and dramatically turning his life around to become a Dominican friar and the first great champion of the Native Americans. Daring to challenge the Spanish encontienda system, which was little more than a justification of forced labor, Las Casas, in the spirit of the great Hebrew Prophets, spoke out unequivocally for justice and freedom for oppressed peoples. His The Only Way, which argued that the native peoples of the Americas are fully human, can rightly be called one of the seminal documents of American Catholic social justice." In this biography, Paul Vickery focuses especially upon Las Casas's "conversion" journey. Drawing upon Las Casas's own words and actions, Vickery describes the historical setting and specific events leading up to Las Casas's spiritual awakening and then interprets this experience in light of his message for us today. Students of history, Western civilization, and social justice will find here an original and provocative text about Colonial Latin America and Native American studies, while students of ethics will find much food for thought in its treatment of questions of conscience and the moral choices with which we are confronted.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809143672
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 2, 2013

    Vickery's book is quite interesting to read, although written ov

    Vickery's book is quite interesting to read, although written over a seemingly obscure topic. I might have never read it had it not been a required class reading, but I'm glad I did, because now I have gained much insight into the world of the 15th- and  16th-century Spain and America. Vickery goes into much detail about the times and trials of Bartolome de las Casas, an important figure in Latin American history, while still managing to keep the material from becoming too boring, as many textbooks are wont to do. Overall, a recommended read for anyone looking to gain more knowledge about the social, political, and religious milieu of the early days of the New World. .

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  • Posted April 26, 2012

    Excellent coverage -- Strong academics

    Bartolome de Las Casas is a well-reasoned academic study of the conversion experience of one of the most famous Latin American reformers. Dr. Vickery skillfully reviews the various political and cultural influences that brought Las Casas from Spain to the New World, and dramatically details the transformation that changed him from an encomendero (wealthy landowner with native servants) to one of the strongest critics of the encomienda system. This book weaves direct quotes from Las Casas with contemporary criticism and historical background. Although the academic depth of this book may challenge many casual readers, those willing to apply the effort necessary will benefit from this conservative look at a radical reformer. More passionate students of liberation theology may find Dr. Vickery's adherence to orthodoxy too traditional, but I think even the majority of revolutionaries will appreciate the historical scholarship. All in all, Bartolome de Las Casas is a well-documented, presentable study of a critical part of North American history.

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  • Posted April 25, 2012

    Great Read!

    Bartolome de Las Casas by Dr. Paul Vickery is a fantastic read. This book is detailed and accurate in the description of Las Casas' life. It shows the transition of Las Casas from wealthy Indian owner to humble Indian protector. This book reveals the political and religious state of Spain in the 1500s, and it depicts the life-long struggle of Las Casas to bring justice and love to the Indians of the New World. The book is easy to read and provides immense detail about the topic. I would give it five stars if you're looking to learn about the life of Las Casas! Great read!

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