Gli esperimenti di "utopie concrete" con gli indigeni dell'America nel XVI secolo: Vasco de Quiroga e Bartolomé de Las Casas - The experiments of "concrete utopias" with the indigenous of America in the XVI century: Vasco de Quiroga and Bartolomé de Las Casas
DADA Rivista di Antropologia post-globale
This essay begins with some considerations about the diffusion in Europe, during the XVIth and XVIIth centuries, of many philosophical-literary writings imagining some perfect societies located in spaces and times very far from the actual environments. Those writings represent a series of radical and irreducible criticism to the characters of contemporary societies. Thomas More, the first and most important representative of the "utopian thinking", affected with his celebrated work Utopia
... d work Utopia (1516) the philosophical and political ideas of the period. His fundamental book influenced also directly the intellectual formation as well as the activities and the writings of some ecclesiastic figures of the time engaged in the corrections and modification of the European presence in the Americas (missionaries, theologians, and reformers of the strategies of evangelization), who dedicated years to the concrete realization of some ideas and projects related to utopian thinking. This essay thoroughly examines two important figures of the time: Vasco de Quiroga, Bishop of Michoacán (Mexico), and the well known Dominican theologian and jurist Bartolomé de Las Casas (in the second part of his life Bishop of Chiapas), great adversary of the Spanish Conquest of Latin America. In different ways, and more or less inspired by utopian thinking, these missionary authorities renowned as "defenders of the Indians" proposed and partly realized some projects of radical transformation of the entire life (material and spiritual as well) of the indigenous populations of some regions of Latin America. The author proposes to make a sharp distinction between Quiroga and Las Casas. He thinks that they possibly could best be defined as "social reformers" inspired by utopian thinking rather than as "concrete utopians".