foreword by William B. Taylor
—Susan Schroeder, Tulane University
—Kenneth Mills, University of Michigan
—Felipe Fernández-Armesto, University of Notre Dame
"This book is part of an important moment in the historiography of colonial Latin America. . . . [and represents] the cutting-edge research that is redefining the study of indigenous religions of the Americas and their relationship to Christianity."
“This volume of essays is recommended for all scholars and students of religion and indigenous peoples of the Americas.”
—International Journal of Latin American Religion
"Together, this volume’s chapters highlight the variety of Catholicisms presented to the Indigenous populations of Latin America and how Native peoples localized Christianity and remade it according to their own cultural logic. . . . Summing Up: Recommended."
"Each chapter illustrates innovative approaches that challenge the narrow perception of a one-way "spiritual conquest," engaging the reader with the complexities of translating (converting) Christianity into a new (geo-graphical) context."
—Latin American Antiquity
"The work’s geographic breadth, the rich array of sources introduced by contributors, and several strong and novel analyses make this an important contribution to a dynamic field of study."
A sophisticated, state-of-the-art study of the remaking of Christianity by indigenous societies, Words and Worlds Turned Around reveals the manifold transformations of Christian discourses in the colonial Americas. The book surveys how Christian messages were rendered in indigenous languages; explores what was added, transformed, or glossed over; and ends with an epilogue about contemporary Nahuatl Christianities.
In eleven case studies drawn from eight Amerindian languages—Nahuatl, Northern and Valley Zapotec, Quechua, Yucatec Maya, K'iche' Maya, Q'eqchi' Maya, and Tupi—the authors address Christian texts and traditions that were repeatedly changed through translation—a process of “turning around” as conveyed in Classical Nahuatl. Through an examination of how Christian terms and practices were made, remade, and negotiated by both missionaries and native authors and audiences, the volume shows the conversion of indigenous peoples as an ongoing process influenced by what native societies sought, understood, or accepted.
The volume features a rapprochement of methodologies and assumptions employed in history, anthropology, and religion and combines the acuity of of methodologies drawn from philology and historical linguistics with the contextualizing force of the ethnohistory and social history of Spanish and Portuguese America.
Contributors: Claudia Brosseder, Louise M. Burkhart, Mark Christensen, John F. Chuchiak IV, Abelardo de la Cruz, Gregory Haimovich, Kittiya Lee, Ben Leeming, Julia Madajczak, Justyna Olko, Frauke Sachse, Garry Sparks