November 2018 Newberry Library Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar

The next Newberry Library Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar will be held on Friday, November 9, 2018.

Friday, November 9, 2018 / 3:00pm to 5:00pm / Room B-82
The Newberry Library / 60 West Walton Street / Chicago IL 60610

“To Pray for Ourselves”: Women in Christian Indian Communities in Mexico and the United States, 1750 - 1870

Jessica L. Criales, Rutgers University

In the mid-eighteenth century, indigenous peoples across the Americas developed a new strategy in response to colonialism: the creation of self-governed “Christian Indian” communities. Women were essential members of these communities, shaping the ethnic and religious boundaries of the group, working to ensure communal financial stability, and holding leadership positions. This paper compares and contrasts native women’s actions in places like Oaxaca, Mexico City, Brothertown, and Stockbridge in order to highlight their creative approaches to survivance. Moreover, it demonstrates the ways that they leveraged their dual identities – as both Christian and indigenous – to advocate for themselves and their families.

Respondent: James Krippner, Haverford College

Newberry Scholarly Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically. If you plan to attend the seminar, please email for a copy of the paper. 

Sponsors: The Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar is co-sponsored by Albion College, the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, University of Illinois at Chicago, Valparaiso University and Wheaton College.