Recent interest in the cultural history of the middle colonial period in Peru has centered on two distinct clerical efforts to guide Christian behavior: the systematic inspection tours aimed at uprooting idolatry among the Indians of the Archdiocese of Lima (frequently called the “Extirpation”) and the initiatives to promote the beatification of saintly Limeños.1 Both campaigns were linked to the aims of the clerics assembled at the Council of Trent (1545–63), who—in light of the Protestant threat—sought to improve doctrinal conformity and to reaffirm the saints as intercessors and models of Christian virtue. These two activities also expressed the baroque notion that the material world was a battle-ground where God’s allies were pitted against agents of the devil. For clerics in this period, Indian idolatry was manifestly the work of Satan, while urban saints, on the other hand, were evidence of the...

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