Bartolome de Las Casas was a Dominican priest--a missionary who fought relentlessly for justice for the Native Americans and even for their status as human beings. He was fearless in standing up to the political and ecclesiastical powers of his time, and a tireless chronicler of events. In Bartolome de las Casas: Great Prophet of the Americas, Paul S. Vickery not only brings these aspects of this extraordinary man to life--but does so against the background of his own two conversion experiences in which he recognized his own hypocrisy as a seeker of wealth and owner of Indian slaves. The author richly describes Bartolome's journey to the New World in search of wealth and prestige--and his outrage upon seeing the cruel treatment of the Native Americans. He soon acquired a reputation as the "Defender of the Indians" as he tirelessly preached, wrote, and lobbied to defend these indigenous people from those who sought to exploit and enslave them. More than a cleric, political activist, or simple chronicler of events, Las Casas became the very conscience of Catholic Spain, a nation grappling with the spiritual mandate to save souls and the human desire to accumulate wealth. His quest for social justice is as relevant for us today as it was in his own time.
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