Jan 09, 2019
Dmitriy Ivanov

Prestigious Recognition for Assumption History Professor’s Manuscript

A manuscript published in December 2016 by Assumption Associate Professor of History Mark Christensen, Ph.D., has been recognized by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) with its highly competitive Mexico Section Book Award in the Humanities.

The Teabo Manuscript: Maya Christian Copybooks, Chilam Balams, and Native Text Production in Yucatan includes the first English translation and analysis of a late-colonial manuscript written in Mayan from the Yucatecan town of Teabo that Professor Christensen discovered in the archives of Brigham Young University. This previously unknown manuscript, which he refers to as the “Teabo Manuscript,” is a collection of the town’s favorite religious texts preserved for hundreds of years throughout the colonial period.

“What is great about the Teabo Manuscript is that it illustrates those aspects of Christianity the Maya of Teabo found most attractive,” said Professor Christensen.

The texts themselves are Christian in origin, but the Maya familiarized their content according to their own worldview.  In translating and analyzing the texts of the Teabo Manuscript, the book provides new insights into how the Mayas negotiated their pre-Columbian intellectual traditions within a Spanish and Catholic colonial world.

According to LASA, the award recognizes a monograph published in either English, Spanish, or Portuguese that reflects outstanding originality in its treatment of any aspect of Mexico across all time periods. LASA also shares that the Mexico Section Book Award in the Humanities recognizes “a single-­ or co-­authored monograph, or a work of art that reflects outstanding originality in its treatment of any aspect of Mexico.”