from Tupã to the land without evil: the Christianization of Tupi-Guarani cosmology

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Abstract

Throughout history, missionaries have appropriated items from the cultural repertoires of the missionized in the interests of spreading Christianity among culturally diverse peoples. Missionaries in eastern South America during the early colonial period translated the Christian message into terms taken from the cosmology of the Tupi-Guarani peoples. Recent cultural borrowings by progressive missionaries, however—notably their use of the Tupi-Guarani belief in an earthly paradise—have a different purpose, aiming not at the conversion of the Indians, but at the conversion of the church.

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