The Black Robe is a movie demonstrating a Jesuit priest on a mission to convert the natives.
– The goal of the priest was to spread the word of God to the savages, thus spreading their axis mundi. This fulfilled the colonizer’s destiny to bring others to the goodness of their religion, bringing the outsiders to salvation. The priest brings a new perspective to the native as they try to persuade them to convert to Christianity.
– The colonizers sacralized the New World by spreading Catholicism, spreading their sacred space and moving the axis mundi to the new world. As priest attempt to convert the natives, they spread their culture, the bible and they build places of worship for the natives.
– The new world was profane because it was not sacred. The rituals, customs and ways of life of the Indians were unfamiliar to the colonists. In the eyes of the colonists, the savages were uncivilized and in need of the guidance of the settlers.
-The colonizers find power through spreading their beliefs and knowledge through the book. The believe salvation will come through their unquestionable worship and evangelicalism. The natives view power as a source from nature. They respect and care for their humble beginnings and simple way of life.
-Father Laforgue views the task of converting the savages to Catholicism essential and of high priority. Father Laforgue views his religion as superior to that of the natives. However, he covets Daniel in the sense that Daniel is able to maintain a relationship with someone, a detrimental sin for the catholic priest. Daniel is more accepting of the native religions, as he forms a bond with on of the natives.
-Father Laforgue represents the modern man by strictly enforcing the laws set forth by the Catholic Church. He views his want of a relationship as a sin and therefore he punishes himself to remain holy. He is uncompromising in his ideologies and has the ultimate goal to convert the natives, however tough the will be. His determination and strict ideologies make Father Laforgue a modern man.
-I believe that Father Laforgue’s view of conversion is more about right action. Through his continuous action to convert the natives, he prevails through his impure thought to deliver the message of God to the people.
-The natives see the French as invaders and inadequate people unable to survive in their world. The French view the natives as savages and in need of the humble guidance of the Jesuit priests.
-After their conversion to Catholicism, the natives face detrimental consequences ending in their demise. This conversion brings an end to the native culture. Father Laforgue views the conversion of the natives as an essential mission to spread the word of God. It is his God- given duty as a priest to bring others to salvation and act as an intermediator between God and the people.