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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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Performance and Penance

Performance and Penance

The Cristo and Christian Evangelization in New Spain

Chapter:
(p.47) 3 Performance and Penance
Source:
Biography of a Mexican Crucifix
Author(s):

Jennifer Scheper Hughes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367065.003.0003

In the sixteenth century, the Spanish missionary friar, Antonio Roa, employed the Cristo Aparecido as an instrument for the conversion and evangelization of the indigenous Christians of Morelos, Mexico. Like other friars of his day, Roa used penitential practices, physical self-disciplines, to illustrate for the Indians the suffering of Christ. The local indigenous community struggled with Roa to negotiate these religious meanings. Suffering, flayed, and dismembered deities had a place in Aztec religious symbolism and imagery, but these may have done little to help the Indians conceptualize the Christian god.

Keywords:   penance, performance, conversion, ritual, emotion, Aztecs, Franciscans, saints and sainthood, relics, sacrifice, mimesis

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