Fellows' Presentation

Contagion and the Sacred in Mexico: Epidemic Disease, Indigenous Death, and the Birth of New World Christianity

Photo by Tony RinaldoPhoto by Tony Rinaldo

Part of the 2016–2017 Fellows' Presentation Series

Lecture by Jennifer Scheper Hughes RI '17

At Radcliffe, Jennifer Scheper Hughes is completing a monograph, titled “Contagion and the Sacred in Mexico,” that explores the religious dimensions of the collapse of the indigenous population in the 16th century. Based on close reading and analysis of archival ecclesial manuscript sources relating to the 1576–1581 epidemic of hemorrhagic fever in central Mexico, the project probes the ambivalent origins of Christianity in the Americas. Hughes offers theoretical (and sometimes theological) reflections on demography, landscape, ritual practice, church, and death in this particular cultural-historical moment.

Free and open to the public.