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Biography of a Mexican CrucifixLived Religion and Local Faith from the Conquest to the Present$
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Jennifer Scheper Hughes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367065

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367065.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

The Iconography of Suffering

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Introduction
Source:
Biography of a Mexican Crucifix
Author(s):

Jennifer Scheper Hughes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367065.003.0001

This book is a history of popular devotion to a single, carved image of Christ crucified, called the Cristo Aparecido by devotees, spanning five centuries of Mexican history. From the colonial period observers of Mexican Catholicism have speculated that indigenous suffering under colonialism was the lens through which Mexicans viewed and interpreted the crucifix. This interpretation is reflected in the works of twentieth-century Mexican artists. Throughout the biography of the Cristo, however, the themes of beauty, affection, and protection are more prevalent emotions than pain, grief, or affliction. From the beginning of devotion in the sixteenth century, the faith of the image’s local devotees is at once authentically indigenous and fully Christian.

Keywords:   Virgin of Guadalupe, Bartolomé de las Casas, suffering, iconography, Mexico, lived religion, crucifixion

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