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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 acquaintance with SorJuana in 1988 moved Pamela Kirk to write this work, which is mostly an analysis of the religious writings of SorJuana Inés de la Cruz: her sacramental dramas, the meditations for the Virgin Mary, her villancicos or poems to be sung on special church celebrations, and her famous Carta Atenagórica, an analysis of the finest gifts of Christ to humanity. Also included is the story of her controversial relationship with the bishop of Puebla, Manuel Fernández de Santa Cruz, embodied in a response to his critique. Less ambitious than George Tavard's Theology ofBeauty, this book seems to aim at a general reader with interest in how religious women writers of the past tackled the challenge of interpreting theological teachings. SorJuana needs no introduction to any student of Latin American colonial literature and history. Famous as she was in her own times, her reputation began to rise again early this century and has reached a climax ofpopularity never envisioned by the nun herself. She has become a literary icon in Mexico. Literally BOOK REVIEWS135 thousands of works have been written on her work, since the facts about her life are meager in comparison with her prodigious production.Yet, it is also true that, until recently, interest in Sor Juana's spirituality remained largely unexplored . The greater appeal of her plays, her poems, the philosophical poem "First Dream," and the writings resulting from her troubled relationship with the bishop of Puebla have overshadowed most other aspects of her life and literary production. Kirk's survey of SorJuana's religious writings leans on well-known and solid bases. For those acquainted with the recent copious analyses of Sor Juana's works, there are no surprises here. Her study of SorJuana's iconography follows an interpretation that will be of interest to scholars and the reading public. Kirk supports a view of Sor Juana's writing as "feminist." Many critics and historians feel more comfortable assuming that Sor Juana defied the male world rather than adopted a conscious ideological feminist position. Unfortunately, this work has missed the most revolutionary re-definitions of SorJuana's relation with her confessor and a revision ofthe meaning of some of her writings, disclosed during several conferences held to observe the 300th anniversary of her death in 1995. Archival work carried out by the Mexican scholars Elias Trabulse and FatherAureliano Tapia Méndez, has revealed that the addressee of her response to the Carta Atenagórica was not the bishop of Puebla but...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 134-135
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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