This article studies the meaning and rhetorical function of conversion stories in four Colonial texts: the epic poem La Araucana by Alonso de Ercilla and three chronicles about the Arauco War and the evangelization in the Kingdom of Chile. On the one hand, there are narratives of “mortal conversion” in which the converted native dies immediately afterwards. One the other hand, the chronicle Restauración de la Imperial y conversión de almas infieles by Juan de Barrenechea y Albis contains an account of “productive conversion”, in which the native reproduces the structure of the Christian family after conversion. These conversion stories aim to both the necessity and the limitations of the evangelizing project of the conquest, the distance between baptism and the “complete” Christianization of the native, and the various ways in which evangelization is hampered by the violence of war, exploitation of the native and sexual violence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts
- Literature and Literary Theory