Idols In The Spanish Colonies

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One of the main goals in the Spanish colonies was to convert the natives from their native religions to christianity. It was quite debated how this should take place with one of the major spots of contention being the native use of idols. There two sides to the idol discussion in the Spanish colonies, the first was that all idols should be completely annihilated, which clergymen like Pablo José Arriaga supported; the other half of the debate was that the natives should be allowed to keep their idols and implement or syncretize them into their christian faith, this side being supported by the like of Fransisco Poma or pro-native monks like Bartolomé de las Casas. The best way to learn of the two sides of the argument is by following two of the …show more content…
From these laws we can see two things fairly clearly, those being that the Spanish government was willing to keep native structures in place, just not traditions, so like the elder or the cacique would maintain their place. Along with that, the Spanish were quite aggressive in the removal of native religions, many of the laws, if broken would entail one hundred lashes, for even naming your child that name of one of the gods worshipped. Although this system is oppressive, the main goal was to weed out the priests and which, according to Arriaga was done as so, he states the first attempts were to reach some natives by offering rewards for giving up who the religious leaders were. The second step, if the of the plan was to summon old intellectual men and women, to keep them away from others and question them for a while. If that didn’t work, then the spaniards summoned the cacique and threatened him with deprivation of office in order to tell the location of the priest. The fourth is to passively ask where the priest comes down from, because its customary to worship him, and the final step is to find a town healer and discuss with him about to them about healing. All of these laws restrict any and all worship or usage of …show more content…
Beginning with Pizarro and ending in the 18th century, where it seems that idols have become part of the catholic church. We see the extirpation of idols not work through three bodies of work, in Arriaga, although never stated, these numerous laws against the native religion would cause pushback, making the Spanish have to become more militarily present in towns than preferred. In Fransico Poma’s testimony we see his accounts of Haca Poma, somebody who actually fought the catholic churches laws and in turn caused chaos for these people in this Ayllu. Finally we can see from MacCormack, that yes there was pushback involved, and at times it could have been aggressive, but another important idea to keep note is that the concepts found in european religions, such as God and his power, do not exist with the Quechuan people. This then entails that a extirpation would only continue to confuse the people instead of turning to christianity and embracing it as people like José Arriaga and their approach is trying to accomplish. This then would allow syncretism to become a more potent form of conversion, as las Casas may have partially observed, in that their is a necessity to utilize pre-existing concepts in the native religions and compare them to christianity all in order to help them understand, which hopefully, for the Spanish, by the end the natives will only

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