Christianity as a Tool of Conquest.

Essay by nana2348University, Bachelor'sA, July 2003

download word file, 8 pages 5.0

Downloaded 94 times

Christianity as a Tool of Conquest is a term paper written in response to the book The Destruction of the Indies written by Bartolome de las Casas. Throughout the paper, the contrast between what the original cause and purpose of the Europeans was in their attempt to colonize the new Americas versus what really happened. It accentuates the violence that they commited against the indigenous, being this a contrary atribute to what they preached. This concept is presented in contrast to the humility and kindness that the indigenous people possessed naturally.

Christianity as a Tool of Conquest

What did it mean to be a Christian to Bartolomé de las Casas, and who should be eligible to be called this? These are two questions that arose while reading "A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies", by Bartolomé de las Casas. From cover to cover he establishes a marked difference in the behavior portrayed by the natives that were being conquered and the one seen on the European conquerors.

The natives being portrayed as "naturally so gentle, so peace-loving, so humble, and so docile" (de las Casas, 6) attributed to a great contrast when compared to "the people who has become so anaesthetized to human suffering by their own greed and ambition that they ceased to be men in any meaningful sense of the term and had become, by dint of their own wicked deeds so totally degenerate..." (de las Casas, 3) who were supposed to be Christians.

When these conquerors were sent to Spain, one of their primary functions was that of saving the souls of the natives by converting them to Christianity. With this in mind, another question comes to mind: How did they go from trying to save their souls into murdering and slaughtering the...