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Maya Christians and Their Churches in Sixteenth-Century Belize$
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Elizabeth Graham

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036663

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036663.001.0001

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What Europe Did for Us

What Europe Did for Us

(p.263) Ten What Europe Did for Us
Maya Christians and Their Churches in Sixteenth-Century Belize

Elizabeth Graham

University Press of Florida

In this chapter, which forms the first part of the book's synthesis and conclusions, the context of conversion is examined. The question is asked: What in Europe's past led to the sixteenth-century attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs that were exported to Mesoamerica? Topics explored in detail are the roots of the obsession with idolatry and Christianity's links to imperial strategies. European art and images of the devil are examined in terms of what effect these may have had on friars' views of Maya imagery. How the presence of devils, demons, idols, and false gods is determined is subject to analysis, as is the role of culture—Roman, Iberian, and even the culture of “barbarian” groups of northern Europe—in the fashioning of Christianity.

Keywords:   Europe, Mesoamerica, art, imagery, devil, idol, Christianity, conversion, barbarian

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