Pious Imperialism: Spanish Rule and the Cult of Saints in Mexico City

Cory Conover, Augustana University

Tuesday, April 05, 2022 | 02:30 pm



In this talk, Dr. Cory Conover draws from his book Pious Imperialism: Spanish rule and the cult of saints in Mexico City to shift through the contradictory claims about the role of Catholicism in the Spanish Empire over the long seventeenth century. Using the story of an accidental Mexican martyr, Conover weaves together a global history from missionaries in Japan, to politics of Rome, to the religious culture of Mexico City. An innovative focus on Catholic worship reveals the surprising pervasiveness of Spanish holy figures who disseminated imperialism to parishioners. It also shows how colonial peoples established themselves within the sanctity of Catholic liturgy thus setting a religious stage for later independence movements.

Cory Conover is Associate Professor of History at Augustana University. His research interests concentrate on the culture of the Spanish Catholic Church and the religious experience of colonial Latin America. His book, Pious imperialism: Spanish rule and the cult of saints in Mexico City (University of New Mexico, 2019) focused on the Mexican saint San Felipe de Jesus. Other recent publications include “The politics of worship in nineteenth-century Mexico,” in the Journal of Religion and Society and “La literatura hagiográfica” in Nueva Historia de la Iglesia en México edited by Juan Carlos Casas. His current project examines the morality and discipline of the secular clergy in the American Spanish Empire.


This event is free and open to the public.