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date: 30 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Mexico and India, the task of evangelization was in the hands of the missionaries, who mostly venerated the ‘Immaculate Virgin’. This Marianism is linked to the Counter-Reformation spirit in Europe and especially in the Iberian Peninsula. However, goddess cults were already a central part of pre-Hispanic and Indian religions. This chapter explores how European missionaries responded to the popularity of the goddesses in the new colonized lands (Mexico and India) and how Mary’s image was carefully shaped according to what they encountered in the conquered lands. It asks how similar or different were the symbols used to represent the idea of a female divine in Catholic and natives’ religions. This analysis will be based on an examination of colonial writings and devotional images in both Mexico and India.

Keywords: Immaculate Conception, goddess, India, Mexico

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