From the cult of Saint Anne to the devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe, from Saint Anthony who competed with Christ for popularity in Brazil, to Jesuits who mixed freely with shamans that talked with the gods, this exciting new anthology examines the conversion of the colonized. The essays examine how New World spirits transformed into Old World saints - for example, the spirit of love transfigured into the Virgin Mary - as well as the implications of the canization of the first American saint. Colonial Saints illustrates the complex and intimate connections among confessional life writing, canization, and the practices of the Inquisition. There was a dynamic exchange involving local agendas, the courts in Spain and France, and, of course, Rome. This bold collection clearly shows the interplay between slavery and spirituality, conversion and control, and the links between the sacred and the political.
Allan Greer is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. His areas of expertise include Canadian social history, colonization of the Americas, and cultural encounters between Native Americans and Europeans. Jodi Bilinkoff is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She was a Fellow at the National Humanities Center. She has published widely on the social history of women and religion.