Bartolomé de Las Casas

(4536 words)
  • David Thomas Orique (University of Oregon)

Bartolomé de Las Casas, a Spanish cleric, Dominican friar, and New World bishop, is a major figure in the sixteenth-century critique of the conquest and colonization of the Americas. During his life, this juridical scholar became known as the Protector of the Indigenous, a champion of justice, a prophet of human rights, and the conscience of Spain, as well as public enemy number one for anti-Indigenous forces. Over time, this daring Renaissance humanist has become known in a variety of ways: religiously, as the Apostle of the Indians; anachronistically, as the Father of Liberation Theology; insightfully, as an early proponent of democracy; inspirationally, as a herald for Latin American Independence leaders; inaccurately, as an …

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Orique, David Thomas. "Bartolomé de Las Casas". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 October 2008
[, accessed 01 December 2015.]