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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
February 2022
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Book description

Religion in Sixteenth-Century Mexico explores the development of religion as transferred from Spain to Tenochtitlan. The religious world of both Aztecs and Spanish Catholics at time of encounter was organized through large and small scale community, family, and personal devotions. Devotion expressed through cults was the single most salient aspect in the transfer of Catholicism to New World people. This book highlights the role that ideas such as afterlife, apocalypticism, iconoclasm, Marianism, resistance, and saints played in the emergence of Mexican Catholicism in the sixteenth century. The larger Atlantic world context, as seen in the regions of Iberia, Anahuac, and 'New Spain', or central Mexico from Zacatecas to Oaxaca, is explored in detail. Beginning with an extensive historical essay to contextualize the pre-contact period, the bulk of this volume contains 118 separate keywords each with three comparative essays examining Aztec and Catholic religious practices before and after contact.


‘… a wonderful encyclopedia with an introductory study about religion in New Spain during the first century of colonization. … an extremely useful resource for scholars and students of Mexico during the colonial period and beyond. Both scholars and students will find themselves frequently looking at this work for reference as an accessible starting point in what is the complicated and controversial topic of religion in the first century of colonization in Mexico.’

Peter C. B. Sorensen Source: Hispanic American Historical Review

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