Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Tongues of FireLanguage and Evangelization in Colonial Mexico$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Nancy Farriss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190884109

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190884109.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 November 2020

Catechists and Catechism

Catechists and Catechism

(p.141) Chapter 6 Catechists and Catechism
Tongues of Fire

Nancy Farriss

Oxford University Press

The religious orders recruited the aid of the Indian ruling classes in introducing Christianity, and this alliance served to support both the new religion and the old elites. Their monopoly of alphabetic literacy helped to guarantee their status within indigenous society and provided a vital tool for mediating with the Spanish overlords. Although generally denied access to the highest ranks within the church, Indian elites received a privileged education that placed them in control of parish administration and parish schools, where the ABCs of reading and the basic catechism lessons were linked in the same printed primers. The religious orders debated how much religious instruction was required for a valid baptism. Christian identity was measured by the ability to recite the basic prayers, but rote learning unenhanced by explanation produced a weak grasp of Christian doctrine.

Keywords:   catechism, Indian elites, alphabetic literacy, baptism, priesthood, primary education, Oaxaca, Dominicans, colonial Mexico

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .