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CRGC Book Symposium

Friday, 21 October, 2022

Please join us for a discussion of Church of the Dead: the Epidemic of 1576 and the Birth of Christianity in the Americas (NYU, 2021) with author Jennifer Scheper Hughes (University of California, Riverside). Formal responses will be given by Paul Ramirez (Northwestern University) and Nathaniel Millett (Saint Louis University).
Lunch Reception to Follow.
Description of the book:
The Church of the Dead offers a counter-history of American Christian origins. It centers the power of Indigenous Mexicans, showing how their Catholic faith remained intact even in the face of the faltering religious fervor of Spanish missionaries in the wake of the catastrophic epidemic of 1576. While the Europeans grappled with their failure to stem the tide of death, succumbing to despair, Indigenous survivors worked to reconstruct the church. Christianity in the Americas today is thus not the creation of missionaries, but rather of Indigenous Catholic survivors of the colonial mortandad, the founding condition of American Christianity. Weaving together archival study, visual culture, church history, theology, and the history of medicine, Jennifer Scheper Hughes provides us with a fascinating reexamination of North American religious history that is at once groundbreaking and lyrical