AMERICAS - THE SWORD AND THE CROSS
From the lectures by Professor Marshall Eakin on "Conquest of the Americas" from "The Great Courses" company.
The main points of Spain and Portugal and their religious conquest of the Americas.
1. Military and Spiritual conquest went hand in hand - but in different forms.
2. In the 16 and 17 century it was a word of no notion of separation of the sacred and the secular - it was all one to them.
3. Only the deeply religious today make no distinction between religion and the rest of life.
4. There is no doubt in the minds of the Spanish and Portuguese they were doing God's work; the Indians and the Africans were working for the devil.
5. Christianity was very aggressive - sort to make converts.
6. They were convinced of truth and righteousness.
7. They took seriously the words of Luke 14:23, "Go out into the highways and byways and compel them to come in."
8. The Spanish above all had this deep-set mind-set of religion.
9. The sword and cross went worth to conquer for the One true God, and the one true king.
10. The kings of Spain and Portugal wanted the blessing of the Pope.
11. They formed a special bond between themselves and the Vatican.
12. The Pope had no army. But Spain and Portugal had. The special bond was called "Royal Patronage."
13. In exchange for financial and military support for Rome, the Pope granted these two monarchies the right to name high church officials.
14. The church becomes an arm of the State.
15. Bishop; Cardinal; you owe your appointment and advancement to the king.
16. Priest etc. have dual loyalties - difficult position to be in.
17. The expulsion of Jews, Muslims, in the 16th century is to solidify Christian orthodoxy - a form of ethnic cleansing.
18. With the discovery of the Americas - the Catholic church had to ask the question, "What do we do about the Indians?"
19. The Americas are not in the Bible; not in ancient Greek literature.
20. It was about "authority" and what to do with authority.
21. Spanish mid 16th century debate on "Humanity of the Indians" - to determine if the Indians were human. And to be human you needed (a) faculty of reason (b) decide between good and evil (c) a soul.
22. They will decide the Indians are rational being with souls; but they are like children, hence wards of the king. So never seen as equivalent as the Spanish/Portuges.
23. The Pope - Paul III - issues a papal bull in 1537, declaring the Indians are rational beings with souls.
24. Priest Bartolome de las Casas (1474-1566) becomes the great defender of the Indians.
25. He travels with his father - witnesses the conquest of the nations. In his 30s he has a religious experience. As a mature adult he is ordained - eventually ordained as a Dominican Priest. He takes up the cause of the Indians.
TO BE CONTINUED