When the Eagle Encountered the Lion: An Exploration of Religious Syncretism after the Spanish Conquest of Mexico

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Caroline Countryman (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Peter Villella

Abstract: The project discusses the fluidity of religion in post conquest Mexico. It examines Spanish documentation of the evangelistic methods used by the Franciscan friars in Mexico during the late 1520s with records of religious history written by the natives of Mexico, the Nahuas, about twenty years after the conquest. Fray Toribio Motolinía, was one of the first twelve friars to go to Mexico in 1524. Motolinía wrote about Nahua culture, reflecting his Christian, Spanish lens on his experience of their culture. The Nahua scholars matured to adulthood under the influence of Christianity and also recorded their history. They created, guided by the Franciscans, a collection of texts about Nahua culture and history, eventually known as the Florentine Codex. This study compares the varying attitudes towards Nahua religious history expressed in the Florentine Codex with the Motolinía’s perception of Nahua religion. The inconsistencies in language in the Codex point to an ambiguous attitude towards Nahua religion, indicating influence of Franciscan evangelical tactics.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 2018
Nahuas, Nahuatl, Religious Syncretism, Spanish colonialism, Franciscan friars, Central Mexico, Florentine Codex, Motolinía, Fray Toribio Motolinía, Nahua religious ceremonies, Quetzalcoatl

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