Latin American -- Die Anfange der Kirche Auf Den Karibischen Inseln: Die Geschichte der Bistumer Santo Domingo, Concepcion De la Vega, San Juan De Puerto Rico Und Santiago De Cuba Von Ihrer Entstehung (1511/22) by Johannes Meier

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Die Anfange der Kirche auf den Karibischen Inseln: Die Geschichte der Bistumer Santo Domingo, Concepcion de la Vega, San Juan de Puerto Rico und Santiago de Cuba von ihrer Entstehung (1511/22) bis zur Mitte des 17. Jahrbunderts. By Johannes Meier.

Neue Zeitschrift fur Missionswissenschaft, Supplementa, Volume XXXVIII.

(Immensee, Switzerland: Verein fur Forderung der Missionswissenschaft, 1991. Pp. xxxiv, 313. sFr. 44,- paperback.)

It was the aim of the church historian Johannes Meier to recount and to analyze the history of the Catholic Church in the Caribbean Islands from the beginning of Spanish overseas expansion until the mid-seventeenth century. He has accomplished his goal quite well.

This book consists of a foreword, an introduction, five chapters, a conclusion, a place and person register, a picture appendix, and maps. The twenty-five-page bibliography, itself a helpful tool to anyone interested in Latin American church history, reveals Meier's acquaintance with literature in many Languages.

Meier describes in Chapter One the origin of the Caribbean dioceses of Santo Domingo, Concepcion de la Vega, San Juan de Puerto Rico, and Santiago de Cuba. In Chapter Two he discusses the bishops. Chapter Three deals with the secular clergy. Chapter Four deals with the religious orders, namely, the Franciscans, the Dominicans, the Mercedarians, and others; and Chapter Five deals with the Christian laity, namely, European settlers, native Indians, and African slaves.

On October 12, 1492, when Christopher Columbus discovered the "Old World: he erected crosses at designated places and announced that Christianity would occupy a strong and privileged place in the "New World The interdependence of Church and State rested on the royal patronage, and within the milieu of the patronage there developed a hierarchical church. …