2007 Conference – The Faith in the New WorldDeep in History

The Southwestern Missions – Dr. James Hitchcock

February 14, 2017 No Comments

In this fascinating lecture from the 2007 Deep in History Conference, Dr. James Hitchcock, professor of history at St. Louis University, looks at the history of Catholic missions in the Southwestern United States. Beginning with the brutal conquest of the Aztecs by Cortez, and continuing to the evangelical work of Spanish missionaries, Dr. Hitchcock explores how true Catholicism came to the Central America and the Southwest United States, and why the Church doesn’t canonize conquistadores.

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Study Questions:

-How does Dr. Hitchcock suggest the native Aztecs viewed the destruction of their temples? Why is this important to consider in light of modern religious/historical commentary?

-Why was colonialism inseparable from missionary work in the conversion of the Americas?

-What is Dr. Hitchcock’s response to the accusation that Native Americans had the Christian religion “imposed upon them”?


Acculturation: The cultural modification of an individual, group, or people by adapting to or borrowing traits from another culture; a merging of cultures as a result of prolonged contact.