Colonial Habits: Convents and the Spiritual Economy of Cuzco, Peru [NOOK Book]

Overview

In Colonial Habits Kathryn Burns transforms our view of nuns as marginal recluses, making them central actors on the colonial stage. Beginning with the 1558 founding of South America’s first convent, Burns shows that nuns in Cuzco played a vital part in subjugating Incas, creating a creole elite, and reproducing an Andean colonial order in which economic and spiritual interests were inextricably fused.
Based on unprecedented archival research, Colonial Habits demonstrates how ...
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Colonial Habits: Convents and the Spiritual Economy of Cuzco, Peru

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Overview

In Colonial Habits Kathryn Burns transforms our view of nuns as marginal recluses, making them central actors on the colonial stage. Beginning with the 1558 founding of South America’s first convent, Burns shows that nuns in Cuzco played a vital part in subjugating Incas, creating a creole elite, and reproducing an Andean colonial order in which economic and spiritual interests were inextricably fused.
Based on unprecedented archival research, Colonial Habits demonstrates how nuns became leading guarantors of their city’s social order by making loans, managing property, containing “unruly” women, and raising girls. Coining the phrase “spiritual economy” to analyze the intricate investments and relationships that enabled Cuzco’s convents and their backers to thrive, Burns explains how, by the late 1700s, this economy had faltered badly, making convents an emblem of decay and a focal point for intense criticism of a failing colonial regime. By the nineteenth century, the nuns had retreated from their previous roles, marginalized in the construction of a new republican order.
Providing insight that can be extended well outside the Andes to the relationships articulated by convents across much of Europe, the Americas, and beyond, Colonial Habits will engage those interested in early modern economics, Latin American studies, women in religion, and the history of gender, class, and race.
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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
Except as saints and sinners, women have been marginalized in the study of colonial Peru. Kathryn Burns, however, in Colonial Habits, reconstructs the world of Cuzco by placing women at the center. The realignment is original and instructive, and, by focusing on convents, the author chooses virtually the only institution where women exercised real authority and gained some independence...[H]er book is a product of perseverance as well as of scholarship.
Choice
[A] highly readable and significant contribution to colonial Latin American historiography.
From the Publisher
“It is fascinating to revisit the history of Cuzco through the gates of the convent. Burns’ clear, succinct prose, her gift for narrative, her eye for detail, and her engagement of larger issues of power, gender, and race make this an attractive book for a wide variety of readers.”—Brooke Larson, SUNY Stony Brook

Burns’s important and highly readable work takes a fresh look at the key economic, social, and cultural relationships that created and sustained a densely woven urban-centered colonial society in the Andes. Among its new findings: at the heart of the economy of colonial Cuzco, a credit institution run by women favored the conquered indigenous elite with long-term finance at concessionary interest rates.”—John Coatsworth, Harvard University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822396192
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Kathryn Burns is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina,Chapel Hill.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledments
Introduction
Pt. 1 Founding Acts
Ch. 1 Gender and the Politics of Mestizaje 15
Ch. 2 The Dilemmas of Dominio: Reconciling Poverty and Property 41
Ch. 3 Forasteras Become Cuzquenas 70
Pt. 2 Zenith
Ch. 4 Reproducing Colonial Cuzco 101
Ch. 5 Producing Colonial Cuzco 132
Pt. 3 Crisis and Decline
Ch. 6 Breaking Faith 157
Ch. 7 Surviving Republicanism 186
Epilogue 212
Appendixes 217
Notes 235
Glossary 281
Works Cited 285
Index 297
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