In Staging Christ's Passion in Eighteenth-Century Nahua Mexico, renowned scholar of Nahuatl Louise Burkhart explores the ways that Nahua scriptwriters, performers, and villagers adapted the story of Christ's crucifixion to their own cultural lens. Her research mines a rich yet relatively unstudied source base: six Nahuatl-language Passion play manuscripts dating from the early eighteenth century, which Burkhart explains likely all drew from the same original source. Burkhart argues that the scripts “lay a strong Indigenous claim to Christianity's core narrative” and thus can be understood as an expression of Nahua agency (p. 6).

The book contains five main chapters, organized thematically, that are relatively independent from each other. In the first chapter, Burkhart traces the ways in which the performance of the Passion in Nahua communities was often questioned or suppressed by Spanish officials. Although she cites Ann Laura Stoler's argument that archival records of attempted colonial control belie...

You do not currently have access to this content.