Words & Worlds Turned Around: Indigenous Christianities in Colonial Latin America

October 30, 2020
Words & Worlds Turned Around: Indigenous Christianities in Colonial Latin America

A sophisticated, state-of-the-art study of the remaking ofChristianity by indigenous societies, Words and Worlds TurnedAround reveals the manifold transformations of Christiandiscourses in the colonial Americas. The book surveys how Christianmessages were rendered in indigenous languages; explores what wasadded, transformed, or glossed over; and ends with an epilogueabout contemporary Nahuatl Christianities.In eleven case studies drawn from eight Amerindianlanguages—Nahuatl, Northern and Valley Zapotec, Quechua, YucatecMaya, K'iche' Maya, Q'eqchi' Maya, and Tupi—the authors addressChristian texts and traditions that were repeatedly changed throughtranslation—a process of “turning around” as conveyed in ClassicalNahuatl. Through an examination of how Christian terms andpractices were made, remade, and negotiated by both missionariesand native authors and audiences, the volume shows the conversionof indigenous peoples as an ongoing process influenced by whatnative societies sought, understood, or accepted.The volume features a rapprochement of methodologies andassumptions employed in history, anthropology, and religion andcombines the acuity of of methodologies drawn from philology andhistorical linguistics with the contextualizing force of theethnohistory and social history of Spanish and PortugueseAmerica.