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New book by Mina Garcia explores 'Idolatry and the Construction of the Spanish Empire'

Mina Garcia, associate professor of Spanish, publishes her second book bridging the gap between colonial Mexico and Early Modern Spain.  

Associate Professor of Spanish Mina Garcia has published her second book, "Idolatry and the Construction of the Spanish Empire."

An ethnohistory on the spiritual and territorial incorporation of the indigenous people in colonial Mexico into the Spanish empire, the new book examines the role played by the shifting concept of idolatry in the conquest of the Americas, as well as its relation to the subsequent construction of imperial power and hegemony. 

Contrasting readings of evangelization plays and chronicles from the Indies with legislation and literature produced in Spain, Garcia places theoretical analysis of state formation in colonial Latin American within the historical context. The conquest of America was presented, in its first instances, as a virtual extension of the Reconquista, which had taken place in Spain since 711, during which Spaniards fought to build an empire based in part on religious unity. The fight against the “heathens” (Moors and Jews) provided the experience and mindset to practice the incorporation of the other, making of Spain a cultural laboratory that was transported across the Atlantic Ocean.

"Idolatry and the Construction of the Spanish Empire" is a wide-ranging exploration of religious orthodoxy and unorthodoxy during Spain’s medieval and early modern period as they relate to idolatry, with analysis of events occurred on both sides of the Atlantic. The book contributes to the growing field of transatlantic studies and explores the redefinition that took place in Europe and in the colonies.

 

Mina Garcia,
Faculty
2/7/2019 4:45 PM