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Talk - Religion in Sixteenth-Century Mexico
Talk - Religion in Sixteenth-Century Mexico

Tue, Nov 07


Oaxaca de Juárez

Talk - Religion in Sixteenth-Century Mexico

The first 60 years of missionizing in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (1524-1584)

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Time & Location

Nov 07, 2023, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Oaxaca de Juárez, Calle de José María Pino Suárez 519, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

About the event


This talk will focus on the first 60 years of missionizing in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (1524-1584) by the Roman Catholic missionary Orders of Franciscans, Dominicans, and Augustinians. However, to get to that time, I will first need to summarize Catholicism in 15th century Spain and Mesoamerica beliefs and practices existing at that time. The similarities in practices are many, as all were state religions and practiced as cults, and

both were apocalyptic, but the meanings of the beliefs behind the practices were often quite different. Within the mission field, the missionary Orders disagreed on many points of conversion, and disagreed with mandates from Rome. Many missionaries were disillusioned by their task, others were impressed with native religion, and all were thwarted by the 90% death rate of their charges.


Cheryl Claassen received a PhD from the Department of Anthropology at Harvard in 1982 concentrating in archaeology. She has directed archaeological labs in Serbia and at Harvard, directed excavations in Arkansas, Tennessee, New York, North Carolina, and fomented discipline-wide research into gender in the past and in the profession, into the prehistoric symbolic use of shells, and into ancient beliefs. Her specialty is the

period from 10,000 to 4,000 years ago in the eastern US. She has authored several path-breaking books including Shells: Analysis for Archaeologists (1996), Feasting with Shellfish in the Southern Ohio Valley (2010), Rituals and Beliefs in Archaic Eastern North America (2015), and Religion in Sixteenth-Century Mexico co-authored with Laura Ammon (2022).


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