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Writing History to Reform the Empire: Religious Chroniclers in Seventeenth-Century Peru

Galvez-Pena, Carlos Martin

This dissertation analyzes the political and epistemological significance of the religious historical discourse produced in the viceroyalty of Peru between 1600 and 1682. The goal of this discourse was to respond to the secularizing pressure of the Spanish Crown on the religious Orders. Accused of being a burden to the Royal Treasury and slowing the development of colonial economy, colonial religious scholars belonging to the four main religious Orders (Augustinians, Franciscans, Jesuits and Dominicans) and based in the city of Los Reyes (Lima), created a historiographical discourse aimed at defending the missionary and political achievements of their corporations. Seventeenth-century religious historiography fused the medieval religious chronicle, the Counter-reformation sermon, the ars historica and the early modern period political literature (the memorial or arbitrio) to create the chronicle-memorial, a unique creole version of history and colonial Catholic statecraft. While pushing for the institutional claims of the colonial corporate Church, religious chroniclers, through the revision of colonial history, advanced the politic and economic agenda of Peruvian benemérito elites as well. Thus, this work goes from the text to the social and political context that produced it. It also tracks the efforts of the first class of Peruvian historians and political thinkers from Lima to Madrid and Rome in order to build their careers, connect with an imperial Republic of Letters and push for reforms in the body politic of the Spanish Empire.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
History
Thesis Advisors
Pizzigoni, Caterina L.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
November 6, 2017
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