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CRRS Friday Workshop: Jason Dyck – “The Myth of the White Spiritual Conquistador”

November 27, 2015 at 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

edictoThe Myth of the White Spiritual Conquistador
Jason Dyck
Department of History, University of Toronto

Jesuits across the Spanish world described their evangelizing work as a “spiritual conquest” of native souls. Their sacred histories primarily exalt Europeans and creoles as self-sacrificing men who carried the Christian gospel to ‘pagan’ peoples across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Yet, if one examines the triumphant rhetoric in these texts, what emerges is an alternative and perhaps unintentional story of a different kind of missionary. Jesuits depended on native inhabitants to evangelize and catechize local peoples in the fallen Muslim kingdom of Granada, the northern missions of New Spain, the viceroyalty of Peru, the reductions of Paraguay, and in the Philippines.

In this workshop, Jason Dyck will discuss specific Morisco, Indian, black, mestizo, and Filipino evangelists as they are represented in Jesuit sacred histories of the seventeenth century. By focusing on native efforts to spread Christianity in the Spanish empire, he questions the traditional binary between European missionary and native convert.


Jason Dyck is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. His current research focuses on the early modern Spanish world, specifically colonial religion, missionary work, and the craft of sacred history in Latin America during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is currently completing the first transcription and scholarly introduction to the third volume of Francisco de Florencia’s (1620–1695) chronicle of the Jesuit province of New Spain. For more information on his publications, research activity, and teaching experience you can visit his website at



November 27, 2015
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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