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George Mason University (Fairfax, VA 22030-4444)
Garry Sparks (Project Director: December 2015 to present)
The Theologia Indorum: A Critical Translation of Friar Domingo de Vico's Theology for and of the Maya, Volume I

Preparation of a critical edition and English translation of the 16th-century Theologia Indorum (Theology of the Indians) composed in Maya, the first work of Christian theology written in an indigenous American language.

The Theologia Indorum (“Theology for the Indians” or “Theology of the Indians”) by Spanish Dominican friar Domingo de Vico is the first original Christian theology written in either North or South America and remains to this day the longest single text ever written in any Native American language. And yet, since its composition in the central Maya highlands of Guatemala in the 1550s the Theologia Indorum has never been translated into any non-Mayan language, apart from some sporadic sections periodically by various scholars since the 1980s. Whereas most of the scholarship on the early colonial Maya has focused on their now famous writings—such as the Popol Wuj, Xajil Chronicles (or Annals of the Kaqchikel), the nine Books of Chilam Balam, et cetera—which consist of the earliest post-contact literature by indigenous American peoples, critical studies of the specific influences of Catholicism in these Maya texts has only recently been begun within the past decade.

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Participating institutions:
George Mason University (Fairfax, VA) - Applicant/Recipient
American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, PA) - Participating Institution

Project fields:
History of Religion

Scholarly Editions and Translations

Research Programs

$290,000 (approved)
$290,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2016 – 9/30/2022