On February 20, 1757, Fray Antonio Claudio de Villegas preached a radical sermon to Mexico City’s Third Order of Santo Domingo, a devotional group of lay Spaniards.1 Villegas’s message was revolutionary, but the priest was not seditious; he did not incite the faithful to political action, nor did he question the colonial order. Instead, Villegas preached a sermon of religious and spiritual renewal. The sermon marked a special occasion for the members of the Third Order: they had recently torn down the wall that separated their chapel, located in the grand Dominican monastery of Santo Domingo, from that of a neigh-boring devotional group, the Cofradía de Indios Extravagantes (Brotherhood of Migrant Indians). From then on, Villegas explained, the Spanish and Indian members of the two groups would share the same physical and sacred space as they celebrated their collective religious devotion. Villegas...

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