The Theologia Indorum by Dominican friar Domingo de Vico was the first Christian theology written in the Americas. Made available in English translation for the first time, Americas' First Theologies presents a selection of exemplary sections from the Theologia Indorum that illustrate Friar Vico's doctrine of god, cosmogony, moral anthropology, understanding of natural law and biblical history, and constructive engagement with pre-HispanicMaya religion. Rather than merely condemn the Maya religion, Vico appropriated local terms and images from Maya mythology and rituals that he thought could convey Christianity. His attempt at translating, if not reconfiguring, Christianity for a Maya readership required his mastery of not only numerous Mayan languages but alsothe highly poetic ceremonial rhetoric of many indigenous Mesoamerican peoples. This book also includes translations of two other pastoral texts and parts of a songbook and a catechism. These texts, written in Highland Mayan languages by fellow Dominicans, demonstrate the wider influence of Vico's ethnographic approach shared by a particular school of Dominicans. Altogether, The Americas' First Theologies provides a rich documentary case example of the translation, reception, and reaction to Christian thought in the indigenous Americas.
The Americas' First Theologies
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