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BOOK REVIEWS133 at court (he held the post himself for thirteen years) to watch over the Council of the Indies, recommend appointments to the New World, appeal individual cases, and correct continuing and new abuses. Likewise, Sullivan is unaware of Las Casas' importance as a seminal thinker; The Limits of Royal Power, abstracted without explanation (pp. 324-327), actually reveals Bartolomé as a precursor of democracy. Instead of any such holistic approach, Sullivan's last book concentrates on a single moving aspect of Las Casas' fifty-year struggle on behalf of the native Americans. It uses Bartolomé's very words to paint his vivid and accurate picture of the Indians' sufferings under Spanish conquest and oppression, their essential humanity, and his own heartbreaking and unrealized plea for their total freedom. Coincidentally, Indian Freedom is probably the last and surely the most eloquent personal view of Bartolomé de las Casas. Helen Rand Parish Bancroft Library University ofCalifornia-Berkeley Idolatry and Its Enemies: Colonial Andean Religion and Extirpation, 1640-1750. By Kenneth Mills. (Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1997. Pp. xv, 337. $55.00.) In this well-researched work, Mills continues an inquiry into mid-colonial religious life begun in his earlier publications includingAn EvilLost to Viewy (Liverpool , 1994) and "The Limits of Religious Coercion in Mid-Colonial Peru," (Past & Present,November, 1994).The chronological and geographical scope of this new study is much broader than these earlier pieces. Mills's sources are rich and varied, encompassing documents such as idolatry testimonies, ecclesiastical letters, catechisms, books of sermons, and pastoral guides as well as the contemporary religious chronicles. The perspective presented is twofold: first, Mills seeks to understand the religious mentality of mid-colonial Indians; second , he also examines the religious assumptions and cultural filters through which the priest-extirpators themselves viewed Andean religious practices. Despite relying on documents created by European missionaries, Mills tries to highlight the indigenous perspectives in them. The difference in perspective is significant. Contemporary extirpators conceptualized Christian and pagan practices as a strict polarity. The indigenous religious beliefs and behaviors uncovered by the extirpators illustrate that they were not. For a variety of reasons, conversion in Peru proceeded at a slower pace than in New Spain. In the mid-seventeenth century in the Archdiocese of Lima, an ambitious campaign of investigation and punishment against idolaters and religious objects was undertaken to finalize the rupture with pagan religious practices and finally secure the triumph of Christianity. Yet, the extirpators' misunderstanding of the nature and significance of Andean religious objects, 134book reviews practices, and religious practitioners, combined with the adaptability of these things to a changed religious climate, ultimately undermined these extirpation efforts. Mills finds evidence tiiat the extirpators themselves suspected this. While it is clear that Christianity increasingly penetrated Andean religious practices in the mid-colonial period, it does not seem to have been because of the success of the extirpation campaigns. Mills's findings challenge two of George Kubler's conclusions: that the midcolonial church was more tolerant of idolatry and that at this same time Christianity finally took hold with the natives. Mills finds the situation on both issues to have been much less clear-cut. In particular, he finds the pace of religious change to have been more uneven and more gradual than previously thought. His point is that there is no one level of Christianization in the mid-colonial Andes. The term "mid-colonial Andean religion" encompasses a multiplicity of observances reflecting holdovers and new adaptations of Andean practices (which were not homogeneous even before the introduction of Christianity), mixed with varying amounts of Christian theology and practices. The resulting religious observances fall along a continuum with European Christianity at one extreme and pre-Columbian Andean religion at the other. Most Andeans would fall somewhere in between the poles in their mid-colonial religious observances . The chief agents in this process of religious syncretism were the Andeans themselves, and the choices and adjustments they made to the introduction of Christianity by the Spaniards. Victoria H. Cummins Austin College Sherman, Texas SorJuana Inés de la Cruz:Religion, Art, and Feminism. By Pamela Kirk. (New York: The Continuum Press. 1998. Pp. 180. $34.50.) A first...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 133-134
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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