Religion in New Spain presents an overview of the history of colonial religious culture and encompasses aspects of religion in the many regions of New Spain. The contributors reveal that Spanish conquest was not the end-all of indigenous culture and that the Virgin of Guadalupe was a myth-in-the-making by locals as well as foreigners. Furthermore, nuns and priests had real lives and the institutional colonial church was seldom if ever immune to political or economic influence.
The essays, while varying in subject and content, validate the sheer pervasiveness and importance of religion in colonial Latin America while reiterating its many manifestations. We can now better understand how it was particularized by individuals, groups, and institutions because of the rich, remarkable histories found in this collection.
Susan Schroeder is a France Vinton Scholes Professor of Colonial Latin American History emerita at Tulane University and the author of numerous works relating to colonial Mesoamerican society and politics, religion, resistance, and women.
Stafford Poole, CM, is a Roman Catholic priest of the Congregation of the Mission of Saint Vincent de Paul, Los Angeles, and is a full-time research historian.
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