Chapter

What Europe Did for Us

Elizabeth Graham

in Maya Christians and Their Churches in Sixteenth-Century Belize

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036663
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041834 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813036663.003.0011
What Europe Did for Us

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In this chapter, which forms the first part of the book's synthesis and conclusions, the context of conversion is examined. The question is asked: What in Europe's past led to the sixteenth-century attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs that were exported to Mesoamerica? Topics explored in detail are the roots of the obsession with idolatry and Christianity's links to imperial strategies. European art and images of the devil are examined in terms of what effect these may have had on friars' views of Maya imagery. How the presence of devils, demons, idols, and false gods is determined is subject to analysis, as is the role of culture—Roman, Iberian, and even the culture of “barbarian” groups of northern Europe—in the fashioning of Christianity.

Keywords: Europe; Mesoamerica; art; imagery; devil; idol; Christianity; conversion; barbarian

Chapter.  8148 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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