Luis Gerónimo de Oré

The World of an Andean Franciscan from the Frontiers to the Centers of Power

Noble David Cook, Alexandra Parma Cook

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


Born in a provincial city in the Peruvian Andes, the Franciscan linguist and theologian Luis Gerónimo de Oré (1554–1630) lived during a critical period in the formation of the modern world, as the global empire of Spain engaged in a nearly continuous struggle over resources and religion.

In the first full-length biography of Oré, Noble David Cook and Alexandra Parma Cook reconstruct the friar’s life and the communities in which he circulated, tracing the career of this first-generation Creole from his roots in Huamanga to his work in Andean missions, his activities at the royal courts of Spain and throughout Spanish America, until his final years as bishop of Concepción, Chile. While serving in Peru’s Colca Valley, Oré composed multilingual texts, translating doctrinal concepts into the indigenous languages Quechua and Aymara, alongside Latin and Spanish, which missionaries and secular clergy frequently used in their conversion efforts. As commissioner to Cuba and La Florida, he inspected the frontier missions along the coast of what became the southeastern United States and wrote an influential history of these outposts and their environment. After Philip III dispatched him to Concepción, Oré spent his last years working in the southernmost end of the Americas, where he continued his advocacy for indigenous justice and engaged in heated arguments with the governor over defensive war, royal patronage, and Indian enslavement.

Drawn from research conducted in Spain and Latin America over several decades, this consequential biography recovers from obscurity a colonial friar whose legacy continues in the Andean world today.

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Ore, Inca, South American missions, colonial Peru, Concepcion Chile, Francisco Solano canonization, province of Santa Elena, Huamanga, Ayacucho, Philip II of Spain, early creole culture, religious history, conversion practices, Amerindian