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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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Acosta, José de. Historia natural y moral de las Indias: en que se tratan las cosas notables del cielo, y elementos, metales, plantas, y animales dellas, y los ritos, y ceremonias, leyes, y gouierno, y guerras de los Indios. Sevilla:I. de Leon, 1590.

—. Obras del Padre José de Acosta. Ed. Francisco Mateos. Biblioteca de Autores Espafioles Vol. 73. Madrid: Atlas, 1954.

—. Historia natural y moral de las Indias, en que se tratan de las cosas notables del cielo, y elementos, metales, plantas y animales dellas: y los ritos, y ceremonias, leyes y gobiemo, y guerras de los Indios. México: FCE, 1962.

—. De procuranda Indorum salute. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1984.

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