AMS 391 • Spanish Missions
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
The course addresses the long-term development of the mission as an institution from its beginning through the secularization process. The focus will be on the Franciscan missions in northeastern Mexico, Texas and California (1600s through 1800s). We will discuss the Laws of the Indias regarding the mission-pueblos and the enslavement of Native Americans, the concept of "reducción" in light of the policies of Christianization, Catholic rituals and their impact on Native American groups, daily practices, the politics and economics of the use of the Native American labor force, and gender issues related to role assignment and division of space. We will compare the approaches to missionization of the Jesuits and Franciscans, their background and its influence on missionary work and the institution of the mission. We will also look closely at the differences between the Religious Orders and the Clergy in New Spain.
The main objective of the course is to provide a comprehensive background of the mentality (mentalités) of religious workers. The second objective is to evaluate how the religious and secular practices imposed on Native Americans affected their lives and how they can be inferred from material culture and space arrangements.
- Rules and Precepts of the Jesuit Missions of Northwestern New Spain, Charles W. Polzer S.J. (available at the UT-Coop) - Course Packet - Other readings from ebook on line (information to be given in class).