Essay on History: Christianity and Tupi

Submitted By heidic12
Words: 498
Pages: 2

HIST 2001
“Many Worlds”

Take Home Point

Date _9/9/12__________________

Name: Heidi Collins___________________________________

----------------------- In her article, “Christianity and Cannibalism: Three European Views of the Tupi in the Spiritual Conquest of Brazil, 1557-1563,” Anne B. McGinness presents the first contact between Christian Europe and Cannibalistic Brazil from the perspectives of three European explorers. The first European to venture into this foreign world of the Tupi was Hans Staden of Germany. He was taken captive for six years, but during these years he developed an understanding of their foreign way of life, and wrote accounts of his experience to Europe. He disclosed his “perception of the New World other,” classifying them as practically inhuman. He described their customs and rituals, including cannibalism, and how these practices brought the community together. He wrote of how he “took on the role of a Shamen,” and “in this way he gained the trust of the community.” Identifying himself as a prophetic figure and introducing his religion and his God to the Tupi, he motivated them with his optimism, and spared himself from being killed and eaten. He not only motivated the Tupi community, but Europe as well. Europe adopted his perception of the Tupi, which stimulated a curiosity and determination among explorers and missionaries. They endeavored to replicate Staden in his investigation of these foreign people in their foreign world. The next European to venture to the Tupi was Jean de Lery from France. Staden’s experience motivated him to explore these people for himself, and he went with the goal of converting them to Christianity. While he was there, he developed a new perspective of the Tupi – a realization of a connection between Cannibalism and Christianity. He united the two worlds through communion, which in the Catholic Church was believed to be the literal consummation of the body and blood of Christ. In this