Black Robe

Priests were involved in the enterprise of colonization because they figured that the easiest way to capture the natives was through converting them to Christianity so by having the priests there who were also upper class, they were able to spread the word and familiarize themselves with the natives worship and compare it to Christianity. The colonizers sacralize the “New World” by creating an imago mundi, by building churches and places crosses on the land making it a sacred space. The “New World” is profane because there wasn’t any religious (Christian) space when they originally arrived. After building the church it created a new sacred space from the profane. Power and knowledge are relative to each other in both religions because knowing whats in the sacred scripture and how to survive in the forest gives you power. They are different because the power and knowledge come from two different sources. Father LaForgue believed the only way to save the natives was by converting them to Christianity and if they didn’t do so they would not go to heaven. Daniel believed that the natives were good willed people and that although they didn’t believe in God like they did they behaved as God wanted them to. Father Laforgue represents the modern “man” because he acts like a true man of God, he serves God and his people. Father LarForgues understanding of conversion came from the right belief because he believed that was the only way one would get to heaven. The Natives see the French as intruders who are breaking the rules of nature and forcing people to convert when there does not need to be any changes. The French see the natives as uncivilized savages who have no government or rules like the Christian French. Natives face many consequences after their conversion to Christianity because it is difficult to adopt new traditions, rules and way of life without trying to unconsciously go back to their old ways of living. It is important for Father LaForgue to convert the natives because he preaches that Christianity leads “soldiers of God” to heaven and it is best to have everyone with the same values and beliefs.


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