Abstract

The author analyzes the changing English perceptions of Spanish evangelization in the Americas, arguing that José de Acosta’s work marked a fundamental shift in English attitudes toward Catholic claims of native conversions. Whereas the earliest Black Legend stories had emphasized Spanish rapacity and native rejection of Christianity, later English controversialists seized on Acosta’s admissions of superficial conversions to argue that Spaniards had succeeded in partial conversions only because Catholicism was marked by the same forms of idolatry and superstition as native religions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 29-51
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-16
Open Access
No
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