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The Devil in the New World
Author: Fernando Cervantes

ISBN: 9780300068894
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 194
Published: 14 May 1997
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 1.91 x 15.24 x 23.5
Despite the extensive modern literature on the evangelization of the New World, the devil has received little attention. Yet until the end of the eighteenth century, missionaries themselves saw diabolism as the root of the Amerindian belief system and as the principal reason for their own failure to establish a church purged of Satan and pagan superstition. This book explores the nature of diabolism and describes how it occupied a central place in assessments of all non-Christian religious systems, as well as in the bitter fight to subdue them.
In illuminating a neglected aspect of the European encounter with America, Cervantes sets the full history of the 'spiritual conquest' in a rich and original context. He shows how native Americans themselves received and re-interpreted the view of Christianity presented to them; how they refused to see the world as the missionaries saw it. Based on an exhaustive examination of archival sources, the book brings into clear focus the complex, often bewildering, and sometimes tragic clash between a theology which presumed the existence of competing forces, and one which insisted that all deities were multiform beings w...

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