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Bartholomew de Las Casas; his life, apostolate, and writings   By: (1863-1927)

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Bartholomew de Las Casas; his life, apostolate, and writings by Francis Augustus MacNutt is a comprehensive and thought-provoking examination of the influential figure's life and his impact on the history of Latin America.

MacNutt meticulously delves into the life of Bartholomew de Las Casas, a 16th-century Spanish historian, Dominican friar, and advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples. The author's extensive research and attention to detail make this biography an authoritative and enlightening read.

Las Casas' apostolate, or religious mission, took a unique path as he became an ardent defender of the rights of indigenous communities in the Spanish colonies. MacNutt explores Las Casas' encounters with the Taino people in Hispaniola and his subsequent conversion to advocate for justice and equality.

What sets this book apart is MacNutt's focus on Las Casas' writings. Through an in-depth exploration of Las Casas' literary contributions, MacNutt unveils a complex and multifaceted individual. The author includes excerpts from Las Casas' extensive body of work, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the thoughts and ideas of this significant historical figure.

MacNutt skillfully navigates through Las Casas' conflicting views on the treatment of indigenous peoples, shedding light on the evolving nature of his beliefs. The book presents a balanced perspective, acknowledging Las Casas' faults and contradictions while also highlighting his contributions in challenging prevailing colonial practices.

One of the strengths of this biography is MacNutt's ability to contextualize Las Casas within the broader historical and theological framework of his time. By exploring the political, religious, and social climate of the era, the author helps readers understand the forces that shaped Las Casas' mission and informs his writings.

However, it is important to note that this book is not a light read. It is dense with information and meticulous analysis, making it more suitable for academic or scholarly audiences. Additionally, the author's writing style can be somewhat dry, which may be a deterrent for some readers seeking a more engaging narrative.

Overall, Bartholomew de Las Casas; his life, apostolate, and writings is a significant contribution to the study of Las Casas and his impact on Latin American history. MacNutt's thorough research and insightful analysis make this biography an essential read for anyone interested in understanding the complex dynamics between colonization, religion, and indigenous rights.

First Page:

[Illustration: Fray Bartholomew de Las Casas]

Fray Bartholomew de Las Casas

From the portrair drawn and engraved by Enguidanos.

Bartholomew de Las Casas; his life, apostolate, and writings

By Francis Augustus MacNutt

Cleveland, U.S.A. The Arthur H. Clark Company


To my beloved wife, Margaret Van Cortlandt Ogden this volume is affectionately dedicated


The controversies of which Bartholomew de Las Casas was, for more than half a century, the central figure no longer move us, for slavery, as a system, is dead and the claim of one race or of men to hold property rights in the flesh and blood of another finds no defenders. We may study the events of his tempestuous life with serene temper, solely for the important light on the history of human progress.

It is sought in the present work to assign to the noblest Spaniard who ever landed in the western world, his true place among those great spirits who have defended and advanced the cause of just liberty, and, at the same time, to depict the conditions under which the curse of slavery was first introduced to North America. It in no degree lessens the glory of Las Casas to insist upon the historical fact that he was neither the first Spaniard to defend the liberty of the American Indians, nor was he alone in sustaining the struggle, to which the best years of a life that all but spanned a century were exclusively dedicated... Continue reading book >>

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