Thèse : Xalqat b’e and the “Theologia Indorum”: Crossroads between Maya spirituality and the Americas’ first theology


  • Sparks, Garry Gene Jr. 
  • Schweiker, William. Directeur
  • Shoaps, Robin A. Directeur


This dissertation is a prolegomena to theology, namely a dialogical theology of cultures. Through a translation and analysis of Domingo de Vico’s Theologia Indorum from the original K’iche’, this dissertation shows how colonial Mayan texts (such as the Popol Wuj) and Vico’s theology are more fully understood in relation to one another. An accompanying ethnohistoric study of Maya “spirituality,” including a reconstructed hermeneutic of the highland Maya, identifies conceptual resources of the highland Maya in the first part of the sixteenth century that equipped and empowered them to respond to Hispano-Catholicism. Principle concepts by highland Maya and Iberian mendicants focused on include local understandings of “culture,” “language,” and “religion” as found in high registers of moral and ritual discourse of the K’iche’ Maya in both the middle sixteenth century and turn of the twenty-first century. The thesis of this dissertation argues from an intertextual reading of Vico’s Theologia Indorum and early highland Mayan texts that Maya were neither merely victims of nor reactionaries to Hispano-Catholic hegemony, but rather early co-authors in the reconfiguration of Maya religiosity and the initial contextualization of Christian theological claims. Furthermore, that the work of some mendicants working in the Americas, like Vico, were among the first modern ethnographers and linguists as they developed theology with the resources of local cultures and languages. Finally, from the basis of this reexamination of the period of early contact between Europeans and indigenous Americans, this dissertation gestures toward future constructive understandings by theologians and social scientists regarding indigenous religions through the proposal of a notion of theological ethnology.

Informations pratiques

  • Chicago : The Divinity School, 2011
  • 1 vol. (688 p.)
  • PhD : Philosophy : University of Chicago : 2011


Citer ce billet
Olivier Jacquot (2023, 1 février). Thèse : Xalqat b’e and the “Theologia Indorum”: Crossroads between Maya spirituality and the Americas’ first theology. Amoxcalli. Consulté le 28 mai 2024, à l’adresse

Olivier Jacquot

Chargé de collections : manuscrits des fonds américains, Service des manuscrits ORientaux (SOR), département des Manuscrits (MSS), Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

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