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José de Acosta’s «De procuranda Indorum salute»

A Call for Evangelical Reforms in Colonial Peru

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Gregory J. Shepherd

José de Acosta’s De procuranda Indorum salute: A Call for Evangelical Reforms in Colonial Peru contextualizes and analyzes the deployment of Catholic missionary forces in the Andes. Its exhaustive approach to the ecclesiastic and political reforms of late-sixteenth-century Peru exposes the philosophical and legal underpinnings of Spain's colonial policies. As this book analyzes José de Acosta’s De procuranda Indorum salute, one of the most important treatises of the colonial period, it explores influences and intentions and reveals context and subtext. Comprehensive in its appraisal of Acosta’s intellectual achievement, this book is essential for scholars and students of this early period of Christian and European expansion in the Americas. Not only does Gregory J. Shepherd examine Acosta’s missionary manual against the controversial backdrop of Las Casas and Sepúlveda, but he also reconstructs the political atmosphere surrounding Toledo’s massive and intrusive transformation of Andean life. Most importantly, this text carries out a thorough study of the ideologies – Christian, Jesuit, and European – underlying Acosta’s appeal for political, social, and ecclesiastic reform.
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GREGORY J. SHEPHERD holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic literature from Georgetown University. As an Assistant Professor, he currently teaches Latin American literature, culture and language, instructional methodology, and assessment strategies at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. Shepherd has published a book and several articles on historical treatises, autobiographical narratives, and epic poetry from the colonial period in Latin America by authors as diverse as José de Acosta and Alonso de Ercilla. His current research focuses on hybridity in Cabeza de Vaca’s Naufragios and technology integration in teacher education models.

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