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Relaciones. Estudios de historia y sociedad

versión On-line ISSN 2448-7554versión impresa ISSN 0185-3929


BELIGAND, Nadine. Rebellious Christs the King, virgins and believers in the Mexican highlands (1765-1770). Relac. Estud. hist. soc. [online]. 2015, vol.36, n.142, pp.105-156. ISSN 2448-7554.

In the years 1765-1770 a series of rebellions broke out in territories on the margins of the Kingdom of New Spain. The underlying causes were both religious -ordaining indigenous priests to direct religious practices- and political -aversion to the Spanish population- in nature. The leaders of those movements appropriated collective yearnings for vengeance that they coupled with a fervent belief in the coming of a new world; one in which the Indians would no longer be the vanquished but victorious, for God himself would descend to Earth to impose Divine Justice to their benefit. The central figures in those movements reflect reciprocal influences between autochthonous tradition (eg. shamanism, ingesting psychotropic plants, hallucinations, cults formed around magical individuals), and Christian theology (mass, administration of sacraments, belief in one true God, adoption of the names Christ and Juan Diego). The visionaries, those most intimate figures of subversion, behaved as mirrors of indigenous Christianity, but their mystical adventure reveals as well a collective identity in which cultural difference existed halfway between imitations of sanctity and the indigenization of Catholic practice. Hence, indigenous Christianity, as it was practiced in frontier territories, underwent a whole set of structural transformations the result of which was their confiscation in order to obtain political and religious autonomy.

Palabras llave : indigenous rebellions; indigenous Catholicism; visionaries and prophets; 18th century; Sierra de Puebla; Sierra Gorda.

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