Friday, July 26, 2019

The Catholic Church and Its Influence on Africans in Colonial Latin Essay

The Catholic Church and Its Influence on Africans in Colonial Latin America - Essay Example The Church used a number of ways for a number of ways for conveying its messages and maintaining the order which ranged from the content of the sermons to the establishment of institutions like the Inquisition. The Catholic Church was an influential and powerful institution in colonial Latin American society, but its teachings were not followed by all the members of the colonial Latin American society. Africans in Colonial Latin America As Landers pointed out that the Africans started living in Latin America about a century before they started living in the United States. In her book ‘Slaves, Subjects and Subversives’ she studied the African Diaspora in Latin America. The study includes the experiences of many types of African descents, most of them were slaves, but there were also free people. She also presented her views about Christianity which was purposefully and religiously used for enslaving oppressors.1 Out of about twelve million Africans only eleven million cou ld survive the trauma and horror of slavery of the Middle Passage and mostly worked as slaves in plantation. Their and their decedent’s experiences of plantation slavery are horrible realities of the Iberian colonies of Latin America. The Catholic Church played a key role in soothing their sufferings.2 The Role of the Catholic Church in Maintaining Social Order The entire population of the Colonial Latin America society was under the influence of the Catholic Church including Africans who were mostly slaves and the Church served as an institution aiming to maintain the social order in the society. The Catholic Church tried to ensure that the social order is not overturned by the Africans or the slaves. The sermons of the Catholic Church did not approve the extreme cruelty of the slave owners and often criticized them, but they didn’t say anything against the slavery. The sermons of Padre Antonio Vieira instructed African slaves to obey their masters irrespective of the extreme cruel treatment by them. The sermons also talked about the rewards in the heaven for their sufferings on the Earth and insisted to pay attention on peace of their souls neglecting their physical pains.3 These sermons meant to comfort African slaves so that the social order is not disturbed. The sermons of the Catholic Church also tried to minimize any possibility by the African slaves to rise up against their masters or to escape from their masters. The sermons aimed to divert the focus of the African slaves from their sufferings to the afterlife and their souls. The sermons emphasized on neglecting worldly pains for the peace of souls and afterlife and ensured that the slaves are loyal to their masters and masters are obeyed by them so that the social order is maintained. The Catholic Church also used the institution like the Inquisition to maintain the social order. The Inquisition was used for interrogating and bringing to trial those who don’t follow the teaching s of the Catholic Church and go against it. â€Å"The Inquisition investigated everything from not living up to the teachings of the Church, to practicing Judaism, to charges of sorcery†

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