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The Myth of the White Spiritual Conquistador

The Myth of the White Spiritual Conquistador
73 Queens Park Crescent East, Northrop Frye Hall Room 205
Time: Nov 27th, 3:30 pm End: Nov 27th, 5:00 pm
Interest Categories: United States Studies, Spanish & Portuguese (FAS), Religion, Study of (FAS), Medieval Studies (FAS), Latin American, History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), 1500-1800
CRRS Friday Workshop by Jason Dyck, History, University of Toronto

The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies is pleased to present a Friday Workshop:

Jason Dyck, Department of History, University of Toronto

The Myth of the White Spiritual Conquistador

Jesuits across the Spanish world described their evangelizing work as a “spiritual conquest” of native souls. Their sacred histories primarily exalt Europeans and creoles as self-sacrificing men who carried the Christian gospel to ‘pagan’ peoples across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Yet, if one examines the triumphant rhetoric in these texts, what emerges is an alternative and perhaps unintentional story of a different kind of missionary. Jesuits depended on native inhabitants to evangelize and catechize local peoples in  the fallen Muslim kingdom of Granada, the northern missions of New Spain, the viceroyalty of Peru, the reductions of Paraguay, and in the Philippines.

In this workshop, Jason Dyck will discuss specific Morisco, Indian, black, mestizo, and Filipino evangelists as they are represented in Jesuit sacred histories of the seventeenth century. By focusing on native efforts to spread Christianity in the Spanish empire, he questions the traditional binary between European missionary and native convert.

Jason Dyck is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. His current research focuses on the early modern Spanish world, specifically  colonial religion, missionary work, and the craft of sacred history in Latin America during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is currently completing the first transcription and scholarly introduction to the third volume of Francisco de Florencia’s (1620–1695) chronicle of the Jesuit province of New Spain.

This event is free and open to all. Registration is not required. For further information, please contact the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at (416) 585-4484.


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