Theology before the Americas

By: Timothy Johnson  

North American scholars in the area of etnohistory have made remarkable progress in exploring the cultural-linguistic context of Franciscan missionary/evangelical efforts in the Americas. At the same time there has been less focus in North America on the cultural/theological perspectives of the Franciscans who, in the 16th and 17th centuries, were educated in the universities of Spain. This paper examines the importance of the medieval Franciscan Duns Scotus and his interpreters in the education of Spanish Franciscans and how the Subtle Doctor's theological insights and legacy created an openness to indigenous cultures that precluded an extrinsic need for sacraments in the dynamic of salvation. Following this line of argumentation, this paper gives special attention to the works of Fr. Pareja and Fr. Movilla, two Franciscans who were involved in the Franciscan evangelization of "La Florida" in the 17th century and produced several Spanish/Timucua texts.

Franciscan, Sacraments, Salvation
Religious Foundations
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Timothy Johnson

Craig and Audrey Thorn Distinguished Professor of Religion, Humanities, Flagler College, United States
United States

I work in the area of 13th century Franciscan hagiography and theology, I am also interested in Franciscan missionary efforts in the "New World" of the North American Spanish Borderlands,