18 halftones, 1 maps

Allies at Odds

The Andean Church and Its Indigenous Agents, 1583-1671
By John Charles



Alternately viewed as servants of evangelization or the plotters of its demise, indios ladinos, native Andeans who mediated contact between the Catholic authorities and indigenous communities, are often omitted from histories of the Spanish spiritual conquest in the New World. Overshadowed by the more powerful European clergy, the experiences of these native assistants--the duties they performed, the historical mechanisms by which they learned Spanish law and writing, their juridical altercations with royal and church authority, and the consequences of native litigation for evangelization as a whole--provide a unique vantage point from which to observe the everyday workings of Spanish colonialism.

Focusing on the highland parishes of the Lima archdiocese, John Charles explores the vital, often conflictive role indigenous agents played in the creation of Andean Christian society. Torn between their obligation to enforce colonial laws and their customary obligation to protect native communities from the colonizers' abuses, indios ladinos used the Spanish language to complicate the Church's efforts to evangelize on its own terms. Utilizing a vast body of literary activity, Allies at Odds provides perspective on the Spanish cultural values that shaped the literary activity of native Andeans and that native Andeans had a part in shaping.

Contributor Bios
John Charles is assistant professor of Spanish at Tulane University.