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Inquisition, Migration, Assimilation. Neuchristen in Guatemala (1599–1693)

Markus Schreiber


Pages 51 - 75

DOI https://doi.org/10.13173/GG.1.1.051




INQUISITION, MIGRATION, ASSIMILATION: NEW CHRISTIANS IN GUATEMALA, 1599–1693

Using the Lopes family from Mirandela in northeastern Portugal as a case study, the article traces the migrations of New Christians to Castile and Central Americain the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. In contrast to studies that have focused on the (crypto-)Jewish identity of New Christians, the Lopes family provides striking examples of identification with their new faith. In the city of Santiago de Guatemala and on Central America’s Pacific coast, family members prospered as businessmen, indigo planters and physicians, and several of them became clergymen. The geographical distance from Castile, the weakness of the Guatemalan inquisition, and their social ties with the local elite helped family members to assume a new identity as respected Old Christians.



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