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Latin America

By josh1232js Nov 01, 2013 646 Words
How and why would certain aspects of Aztec, Inca, and Caribbean peoples’ religions and cosmologies have facilitated their conversion to Christianity? How and why would certain aspects of Aztec, Inca, and Caribbean peoples’ religions and cosmologies have hindered their conversion to Christianity?

There various aspects of these indigenous groups religion from which Christianity can relate too, as well as it can have some differences the Christians do not believe in. Although some different beliefs exist; I believe that there are more aspects in their religions that facilitate Christian conversion rather than hinder the conversion.

One aspect from the Aztec religion that the Spanish could relate to was the revered female figure in who they believed in. She was known by the name of Tenantzin. They believed her to be a beloved figure much like the Virgin Mary for Christians. Tonantzin was known as “our mother”, because of her central mother figure in both human and natural fertility. Very similar to that of Virgin Mary the holiest women figure in Christian beliefs. Known mostly as the mother of Jesus Christ. Both Virgin Mary and Tonantzin represented grace and spiritual purity. Also, both were known for their gift of giving life. This aspect of the Aztecs highly fascinated their conversion to Christianity.

The Incas had these monuments much like the holy shrines of the Christians. These monuments went by the name of huaca or wak’a in the Inca native language quechua. Huacas were natural locations associated with veneration and rituals much like holy shrines, which consisted of holy places where figures of respect were once venerated or worshipped. The Huaca Pucllana was used as an impotant ceremonial center to resurrect the dead much like the Holy Mount Tabor shrine, the place were Jesus was once resurrected. Huacas and shrines represent the holy locations of great significance to each religion.

As for the Caribbean natives, their belief of the idea of life after death as a spirit is much like the belief of heaven and hell. The Caribbean natives believed that if they lived a good life and worshipped the zemi that they would live in paradise, similar to belief if one is good and believes in God one will go to heaven. And exactly like Christian they believed that if one lived as a bad person and did not believe in their God, they would go to a miserable realm after death much like hell. This belief of going to this white paradise or an underworld correlates with the idea of heaven and hell but in a different form of religion.

Although Christians found similarities with the indigenous groups religions., there was one hinder that one could argue against them being more facilitated would be that these indigenous groups believed in a Polytheistic religion when on contrast the Christians believed in a Monotheistic religion. These native groups all had more than one God and each represented something different. For example, there was Viracocha the God of creation in Incan Empire, than there was Tonatiuh the son of the sun for the Aztec Empire and Yaya the Taino God known as the creator of existence. To argue back to this difference one would propose that although they believed in more than one God, they still believed in that one God known as the creator of everything. The Indigenous gods mentioned earlier all symbolize the Christian God who they believe created life. And although these gods have different names they all stand for the same power that they created the world.

Although sometimes seen as different by the Christians, one can see that their religions are more alike than different. This has huge significance because it shows that Christians and these indigenous races are very similar in religious views. Ultimately, creating the questions if there’s a possibility that these although different, very similar religions were once the same.

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