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Faithful NarrativesHistorians, Religion, and the Challenge of Objectivity$
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Andrea Sterk and Nina Caputo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451829

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451829.001.0001

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Mission and Narrative in the Early Modern Spanish World

Mission and Narrative in the Early Modern Spanish World

Diego de Ocaña’s Desert in Passing

(p.115) Chapter 7 Mission and Narrative in the Early Modern Spanish World
Faithful Narratives

Kenneth Mills

Cornell University Press

This chapter presents Diego de Ocaña's—a Castilian Hieronymite friar's—account of his outward and inward journey across the desert of Pariacaca in Peru. Drawing from a rich apostolic narrative tradition, the friar's chronicle not only reveals the lessons he learned “about little known peoples and new corners of the exterior world” but also draws readers into his own spiritual journey of suffering and deliverance, a narrative that exposes both the frailty of human existence and the meaning of human experience. Ocaña's record represents a cumulative kind of missionary knowledge. Exploring Ocaña's pattern of personalizing sorrow, pain, and torment is to take seriously the authorial attempt to draw his contemporary readers inside the kind of interior journey they will feel and with which they will identify.

Keywords:   Diego de Ocaña, Pariacaca desert, apostolic narrative, spiritual journey, human existence, human experience, missionary knowledge

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