The textual sources of indigenous Christianities in Guatemala embody a complex articulation of native thought, European language ideologies, and the diachronic development of the Christianization of different areas of Mesoamerica. The evangelization of the K'iche' became a model for the construction of pastoral Q'eqchi'. In contrast, the evangelization of the Pipil demanded substantial modifications of Mexican Nahuatl doctrinal language. Mutual intelligibility was not the only requisite to persuade and convert the natives. The local organization of speech genres and the indexical associations they effected were equally crucial. Spanish imperial designs, including Christianization, were global, but the texts that mediated them were woven with local threads. The creation of Christian registers in indigenous languages in Guatemala illustrates the confluence of coercion, resistance, and creativity behind the emergence of colonial indigenous religions.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.