Translated Christianities: Nahuatl and Maya Religious Texts by Mark Z. ChristensenTranslated Christianities: Nahuatl and Maya Religious Texts by Mark Z. Christensen

Translated Christianities: Nahuatl and Maya Religious Texts

byMark Z. Christensen

Paperback | April 24, 2014

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Beginning in the sixteenth century, ecclesiastics and others created religious texts written in the native languages of the Nahua and Yucatec Maya. These texts played an important role in the evangelization of central Mexico and Yucatan. Translated Christianities is the first book to provide readers with English translations of a variety of Nahuatl and Maya religious texts. It pulls Nahuatl and Maya sermons, catechisms, and confessional manuals out of relative obscurity and presents them to the reader in a way that illustrates similarities, differences, and trends in religious text production throughout the colonial period.

The texts included in this work are diverse. Their authors range from Spanish ecclesiastics to native assistants, from Catholics to Methodists, and from sixteenth-century Nahuas to nineteenth-century Maya. Although translated from its native language into English, each text illustrates the impact of European and native cultures on its content. Medieval tales popular in Europe are transformed to accommodate a New World native audience, biblical figures assume native identities, and texts admonishing Christian behavior are tailored to meet the demands of a colonial native population. Moreover, the book provides the first translation and analysis of a Methodist catechism written in Yucatec Maya to convert the Maya of Belize and Yucatan. Ultimately, readers are offered an uncommon opportunity to read for themselves the translated Christianities that Nahuatl and Maya texts contained.

Mark Z. Christensen is Assistant Professor of History at Assumption College. Mark Z. Christensen is Assistant Professor of History at Assumption College.
Title:Translated Christianities: Nahuatl and Maya Religious TextsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:152 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 2.5 inPublished:April 24, 2014Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271063610

ISBN - 13:9780271063614

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Table of Contents



List of Figures and Tables


A Note on the Translations

Introduction: Native-Language Religious Texts

1 Saint Paul and Saint Sebastian in the “Nahuatl Bible”

2 Maya Christian Tales

3 Nahuatl and Maya Baptismal Texts

4 Nahuatl and Maya Catechisms

5 Nahuatl and Maya Confessional Manuals



Editorial Reviews

“Christensen's brief and gracious introductions to a variety of examples from the Nahua and Maya catechistic corpus provide a compelling point of entry for the study of what is revealed, upon close inspection, to be a diverse and challenging corpus that defies easy generalizations. This work should instruct and engage both undergraduate and specialist audiences.”

—David Tavárez, Hispanic American Historical Review