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By Richard W. Pointer

Historians have lengthy been conscious that the stumble upon with Europeans affected all elements of local American existence. yet have been Indians the one ones replaced by means of those cross-cultural conferences? may perhaps the newbies' methods, together with their non secular ideals and practices, have additionally been altered amid their myriad contacts with local peoples? In Encounters of the Spirit, Richard W. Pointer takes up those fascinating questions in an cutting edge examine of the spiritual come upon among Indians and Euro-Americans in early the USA. Exploring a chain of episodes throughout the 3 centuries of the colonial period and stretching from New Spain to New France and the English settlements, he reveals that the movement of cultural impression used to be extra frequently reciprocal than unidirectional. (2008)

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Extra info for Encounters of the Spirit: Native Americans and European Colonial Religion (Religion in North America)

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Chapter 5 relates the stories of three Native American Christian preacher/teachers from mid-seventeenth-century New France, mid-eighteenth-century New York, and late eighteenth-century New York who were shaped in their ministries by the particular European Christian tradition (French Jesuit, German Moravian, English Congregational/Presbyterian) to which they belonged but who in turn influenced those bodies’ notions of religious leadership. The final case study examines how Euro-Americans interpreted religiously the most prominent social reality they confronted in their encounter with Native Americans, the Indians’ high death rate.

All this instruction took place alongside or in the midst of the creation of parishes, or more technically doctrinas, across central Mexico from the 1520s onward. Doctrinas were communities in which a church and clerical residence were located. Sometimes they were placed in existing Indian towns; others created new settlements. 29 Virtually all the parishes for the first fifty years were headed by either Franciscans, Dominicans, or Augustinians, the three mendicant orders that dominated the Mexican church in the sixteenth century.

Those varied within and between the groups. But all had been shaped principally, if not exclusively, in Old Spain or elsewhere in Europe. Coming to the New World afforded an opportunity to transplant familiar religious ways, although for the reform-minded Franciscans, it was also a chance to leave behind some of late medieval Europe’s longstanding religious problems. What took form as the Catholic Church in Mexico in the sixteenth century, then, was not solely a product of missionary strategy. 69 At a practical level, reproducing aspects of their Old World religious culture was certainly easier said than done, whether at the Church of San José or at remote visitas.

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