Words & Worlds Turned Around offers eleven essays, a forward, an introduction, and a conclusion that examine the introduction of Christianity into indigenous Latin America. Although scholarship has long acknowledged the challenges encountered by friars and secular religious in their conversion efforts, this volume articulates and develops the concept of indigenous Christianities, from New Spain to the Brazilian Amazon, in new and valuable ways. The volume’s contributors emphasize that catechesis, in particular, was and is a conversation and a process rather than a simple transmission of doctrine from colonizer to colonized. Indigenous contributions and interpretations did, and do, much to shape and define New World Christianities.

The volume’s first part treats first contacts and early religious instruction in New Spain and Peru. David Tavárez provides an incisive overview of the colonial Zapotec catechetical corpus, while Julia Madajczak and Gregory Haimovich probe the...

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