Nahua and Maya Catholicisms: Texts and Religion in Colonial Central Mexico and Yucatan

Overview

Nahua and Maya Catholicisms examines ecclesiastical texts written in Nahuatl and Yucatec Maya to illustrate the role of these texts in conveying and reflecting various Catholic messages—and thus Catholicisms—throughout colonial Central Mexico and Yucatan. It demonstrates how published and unpublished sermons, confessional manuals, catechisms, and other religious texts betray "official" and "unofficial" versions of Catholicism, and how these versions changed throughout the colonial period according to indigenous ...

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Overview

Nahua and Maya Catholicisms examines ecclesiastical texts written in Nahuatl and Yucatec Maya to illustrate the role of these texts in conveying and reflecting various Catholic messages—and thus Catholicisms—throughout colonial Central Mexico and Yucatan. It demonstrates how published and unpublished sermons, confessional manuals, catechisms, and other religious texts betray "official" and "unofficial" versions of Catholicism, and how these versions changed throughout the colonial period according to indigenous culture, local situations, and broader early modern events. The book's study of these texts also allows for a better appreciation of the negotiations that occurred during the evangelization process between native and Spanish cultures, the center and periphery, and between official expectations and everyday realities. And by employing both Nahuatl and Maya religious texts, Nahua and Maya Catholicism allows for a uniquely comparative study that expands beyond Central Mexico to include Yucatan.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This well-written, well-documented book adds to the contributions of scholars like Louise Burkhart to help in understanding the origins and nature of indigenous religious beliefs and practices in colonial Mexico. . . . Recommended."—V. H. Cummins, Choice

"The analysis of the various prayers and their renditions in Nahuatl and Maya is fantastic. The study of the content of rituals such as baptism also contribute greatly to our understanding of how they functioned in the lives of everyday native peoples. Christensen's study of the variations observed in confessional guides serves to provide us with glimpses into the issues which the missionaries believed were of concern among their flock. The comparative content is especially rich. One of the greatest contributions of the work is the study of non-canonical texts, in which the author, based on the material already presented, analyzes these popular works. This is the most original part of the book and it makes it an even more valuable work."—John F. Schwaller, SUNY Potsdam

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804785280
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/24/2013
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Z. Christensen is Assistant Professor of History at Assumption College.

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