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Foundations - Acosta

Iosephi a Costa, Societatis Iesu, De Natura noui orbis libri duo. Et De promulgatione euangelii apud barbaros, siue, De procuranda Indorum salute, libri sex

Title page of De Natura Noui Orbis....(1596)

José de Acosta, 1540-1600

Iosephi a Costa, Societatis Iesu, De natura noui orbis libri duo. Et De promulgatione euangelii apud barbarous, siue, De procuranda Indorum salute, libri sex. (Cologne, 1596)


The theologian and philosopher Josè de Acosta was provincial and rector of the Jesuit college of Lima in Peru from 1572 to 1586. His De procuranda Indorum salute (“On attaining the salvation of the Indians”) is concerned with the spiritual problems involved in the evangelization of hitherto unknown pagan populations. Avoiding the sometimes extreme positions of De las Casas, Sepúlveda and other of his contemporaries on this subject, Acosta took a middle road in posing solutions to thorny missionary issues, such as the value of education for native peoples, the use of force in the  evangelization process, and the rights and responsibilities of colonists in dealing with native peoples.

Backer-Sommervogel I, col. 34, no. 4