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Gods of the Andes. An early Jesuit account of


Inca religion and Andean Christianity. By Sabine
Hyland. Pp. xii+132 incl. 1 map and 2 ills.
University Park, Pa: The Pennsylvania State
University Press, 2011. 24.95 (paper). 978 0 271
04880 2

Fernando Cervantes

The Journal of Ecclesiastical History / Volume 63 / Issue 04 / October 2012, pp 823 - 824
DOI: 10.1017/S0022046912001194, Published online: 17 September 2012

Link to this article: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0022046912001194

How to cite this article:


Fernando Cervantes (2012). The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 63, pp 823-824
doi:10.1017/S0022046912001194

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REVIEWS
anything like the denominational xity of their namesakes in the Long Parliament,
late Elizabethan and early Stuart Presbyterians nevertheless formulated ecclesial
structures that brought into bold relief the outlines of a representative form of
church government centred on local parish consistories and national synods that
stood in sharp contrast with the congregational orientation of English separatists
and the independency of Henry Jacobs Southwark experiment in . At the
same time, Has study underscores the uidity of ideas and practices that
characterised Puritanism of the period in which Presbyterians also emphasised
the consensual qualities of their polity that guarded personal liberties of church
members and also appealed to the aspirations of lower class members, in practice
giving them a signicant voice and inuence in congregational matters. Ha has
a nely honed grasp of the nuances and complexities involved in Puritan
ecclesiastical developments of this period, and is especially good at clarifying the
critical issues that separate advocates of a Presbyterian way from others who
inclined more toward moderate conformity or radical congregationalism. Beyond
that, Has mastery of contemporary Puritan scholarship and its unexamined biases
makes this study especially perceptive and gratifying to read.
BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, STEPHEN BRACHLOW
RICHMOND,
VIRGINIA

Gods of the Andes. An early Jesuit account of Inca religion and Andean Christianity. By
Sabine Hyland. Pp. xii + incl. map and ills. University Park, PA: The
Pennsylvania State University Press, . . (paper).
JEH () ; doi:./S
The Jesuits were relative latecomers to Spanish America and their arrival in the
Andes in the late s seems to have posed an uncomfortable challenge to the
secular establishment and the (mostly) mendicant Christian presence in the area.
According to Blas Valera, the mestizo Jesuit who composed the account under
review, the Society distinguished itself by the patience, humility, obedience,
charity, [and] fervent prayer of its members, who constantly rushed to their
ministries with hearts on re (p. ). Such an encouraging portrayal in turn
allowed Valera to advance a refreshing reinterpretation of Andean religious
practices in the light of the Thomist dictum that grace does not destroy nature but
perfects it. In a manner unmistakably reminiscent of the work of that other
illustrious mestizo, the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (who, incidentally, drew much
inspiration from Valeras work), the mestizo Jesuit depicted pre-Hispanic rites as
natural preparations for the faithful reception of the Christian Gospel. In the
process he also advanced a virulent criticism of the methods of evangelisation
allegedly deployed until then (an attack from which only the Dominicans and a
handful of exceptional Franciscans and Mercedarians emerged unscathed), as well
as a sharp and generally convincing refutation of the ofcial version rehearsed
by Valera, explicitly, through the writings of the inuential Spanish lawyer, mine-
owner and judge, Polo de Ondegardo, and, implicitly, through those of Valeras
Jesuit superior, Jos de Acosta, whose sharp condemnation of Andean religions
JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY
follows Polo closely and often verbatim. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that
Valera should have ended his days in Spain, accused of certain crimes, and that
his account should have remained unknown until it was discovered in Cdiz
in , preserved in the private collection of Bhl de Faber. The treatise
nevertheless makes truly engrossing reading, especially by opening a splendidly
illuminating window into an unofcial tradition of gradual, piecemeal and ac-
commodating methods of evangelisation. This unofcial tradition has been
unjustly overlooked in the scholarly literature. Without it, however, modern Latin
American Christianity would be entirely inexplicable. As Sabine Hyland puts it: All
too often English-speaking readers can have an unexamined prejudice that
Spanish thinking in Peru was simply lockstep obedience to the Spanish inquisition.
This text shows that there also existed pro-Indian voices . . . whose ideals of natural
rights paved the way for the Enlightenment and more recent human rights for-
mulations (p. ). Readers should not, however, identify this tradition exclusively
with the Jesuits: Valeras explicit acknowledgement of the Dominicans and a
handful of other mendicants will need careful attention in future studies. Hylands
translation is as readable as it is faithful to the original, and it has the added
advantage of coming with a helpful scholarly introduction, unobtrusive annota-
tions, and a glossary of quechua terms. It is a most welcome companion to her
excellent monograph on Valera, The Jesuit and the Incas (), and an
indispensable primary source which will be enjoyed as much by scholars as by
general readers.
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL FERNANDO CERVANTES

Jesuiten aus Zentraleuropa in Portugiesisch- und Spanisch-Amerika. Ein bio-bibliogra-


phisches Handbuch mit einem berblick ber das aussische Wirken der Gesellschaft
Jesu in der frhen Neuzeit, II: Chile (). Edited by Johannes Meier and
Michael Mller. Pp. l + incl. ills. Munich: Aschendorff, . E.

JEH () ; doi:./S
This impressive volume presents biographical information about the members of
the Society of Jesus, priests as well as brothers, working for the Society in Chile,
together with an overview of the available sources about the Society and its
activities in that country. The focus is on Jesuits from Germany, Austria and other
central European mission houses who were sent to Chile in order to convert the
indigenous population to Christianity. The Society of Jesus had already been sent
to Chile in by the Spanish king Philip II but this attempt failed. In the
king allowed a second attempt and in a group of missionaries was sent to
found the rst Jesuit residence. By , when the Jesuits were expelled from every
Spanish colony, they had founded twenty-three houses in Chile and one university.
Their presence was crucial for Spanish dominance over an indigenous population
that had resisted not only the Incan empire but also the Spanish conquest quite
successfully for a while. Hence, this compilation of data about their contact with
the Jesuits is very important for our understanding of the pacication of the
Mapuche and the other indigenous peoples of South America. The rst pages
of the handbook present information about the work of the Jesuits in Chile from