- “Tears of the Indians” or Superficial Conversion?: José de Acosta, the Black Legend, and Spanish Evangelization in the New World
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 99, Number 1, January 2013
- pp. 29-51
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- Additional Information
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.