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Biography of a Mexican CrucifixLived Religion and Local Faith from the Conquest to the Present$
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Jennifer Scheper Hughes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367065

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367065.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 16 May 2022

“Christ Appeared”

“Christ Appeared”

Material Religion and the Conquest of Mexico

(p.21) 2 “Christ Appeared”
Biography of a Mexican Crucifix

Jennifer Scheper Hughes

Oxford University Press

In 1543 the Cristo Aparecido appeared to the Spanish missionary friar, Antonio Roa, and to the community of newly converted indigenous Christians of the pueblo of Totolapan (in modern-day Morelos, Mexico) where he ministered. This chapter weaves together two seemingly irreconcilable origin myths, one from art history, and the other the narrative of faith, to explain the circumstances in which the arrival of the crucifix was understood to be extraordinary. Beyond legend and miracle, the Cristo’s origins reveal the central role of objects of material religion in the spiritual conquest of sixteenth-century Mexico.

Keywords:   colonial Mexico, conversion, Franciscans, Aztecs, idolatry, conquest, material religion, native American art, miracles, iconoclasm, Augustinians

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