Ethnic identity and religious conversion in Latin America - three visiting lectures at Waseda (31 March - 21 April)
A three-part lecture series titled "Comparative Indigenous Studies: Ethnic Identity and Religious Conversion" at Waseda University's Institute of Advanced Study from Professor Guillermo Wilde, (National University of San Martin in Argentina). Professor Wilde's lectures explore interactions between missionaries and indigenous peoples in the Jesuit missions to colonial Latin America in the 17th century, attempting to move beyond reductive paradigms of "domination" and "resistance" to think about more complex shifts in spatial and ritual practices. The lecture series is as follows -
3/31 (10.40am) - "Beyond Domination and Resistance. Interactions between missionaries and indigenous peoples in Colonial Latin America"
Abstract: "Mission towns of Colonial Latin America congregated indigenous population from many different and diverse geographical, cultural and linguistic origins that adapted themselves to the same socio-political pattern. In this talk I explore different aspects of the process of conversion to Christianity of these peoples. I take into account three aspects. First, the imposition of a new social, political, and cultural organization. Second, the adaptation of missionary practices to the local context. Third, indigenous people appropriations of the missionary regime."
4/7 (10.40am) - "Religious Conversion and the formation of Space-Time categories in the Borderland Missions"
Abstract: "Most of the population inhabiting in the Jesuit missions of Colonial Latin America in the 17th century had been forced to move from their original regions to the new settlements, which entailed an accelerated process of demographic and territorial disintegration as well as a reconfiguration of cultural, political and economic practices. This talk focuses on the process of formation of new space and time categories and practices in the configuration of a mission culture."
4/21 (10.40am) - "In the Limits of Missionary Knowledge and Practice: Indigenous rites and beliefs in comparative perspective"
Abstract: "In this talk I explore Jesuit missionaries´ accounts on the indigenous traditions of Colonial South American. I distinguish two levels of discourse. One more visible corresponds to the identification of native beliefs (concepts, terms) in the native languages and their translation into Christian ideas. Another level, less visible, corresponds to the Indian ritual practices themselves, which were either equated with sacraments or relegated to the sphere of innocuous customs that could be gradually domesticated. My argument is that in their descriptions of indigenous societies, Jesuits constructed an arbitrary separation of spheres (civil-religious), in order to control knowledge about those societies."
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