Christianizing the Nahua

Bernardino de Sahagún
Yn nemachtiliztlatolli [Educational and Instructive Speech, known in Spanish as Veinte adiciones]
Central Mexico, 1590

To his collection of basic Biblical readings in Nahuatl (those employed in the Liturgy and in preaching), Sahagún added an exposition of theological virtues (faith, hope and charity) and the Christian view of the afterlife (death, heaven, and hell). The Yn nemachtiliztlatolli (Educational Speech) provides a quick over-view of Christian doctrine for newly converted Nahuas. The last section is on the topic of death and judgment. The text uses the recognizable style of the Nahua oral tradition to explain the Christian vision of the fate of the soul at the time of death. Father Sahagún’s signature is at the bottom of the page.

Newberry Library: Ayer MS 1486a

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