DOI: https://doi.org/10.31499/2306-5532.1.2020.194374

EDUCATION OF THE FRANCISCAN FRAILS IN THE THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS AS BACKGROUND OF THEIR LEARNING IN THE AMERICAS (FIRST HALF OF THE XVI CENTURY)

Olena Zhizhko, Delfina de la Cruz

Abstract


This article presents the results of the historical-pedagogical study, which goal was to inquire about the previous knowledge and ways of learning of the missionaries who worked in New Spain in the first half of the XVI century (in particular, the Franciscans), in order to understand the process of their appropriation of Nahuatl and creation of religious texts in this language. Author found through the documentary-bibliographic study that the Franciscan friars, who traveled to the American missions, undoubtedly belonged to the educated elite of the moment and were carriers of innovative linguistic ideas and well ahead of their time (perception of the language as the object of the study, creation of the grammar universalis, etc.). Candidates should be intellectually prepared and experienced in missionary practice with infidels that represented to have the openness and ease to learn the languages and customs of the conquered peoples, such as a great courage to face sacrifice and even death. Likewise, the analysis carried out showed that the first Franciscan missionaries, who arrived in the New World, were trained in European religious educational institutions. At the end of their studies, the friars were individuals, who held a broad spectrum of knowledge in rhetoric, philosophy, theology, as well as the mastery of several languages, a formation that helped them acquire Amerindian languages, in particular, their studies of rhetoric and Latin directly served them to learn indigenous languages (particularly, Nahuatl). It´s also important to note that although the structure of Latin is different from the structure of Nahuatl, knowledge of rhetoric was supportive for missionaries in creating Nahuatl grammars.


Keywords


franciscan frails´ education in the first half of the XVI century; European theological schools; the process of the appropriation of Amerindian languages, in particular, Nahuatl, in New Spain; missionaries´ previous knowledge and ways of learning; the rol

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