What are you looking for?

Kenneth Reynold Mills

Kenneth Reynold Mills

NIAS Individual Fellow

Project title

The Journey of Diego de Ocaña

Project description

A friar dispatched by his Hieronymite monastery at the sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Extremadura, Spain, in 1599, Diego de Ocaña travelled to Peru on a journey of alms collection, sacred foundation, and correction. He kept revising an account of his seven-year journey up to his death in 1608. Ocaña’s untitled recollections are those of a reader with a keen ear for local talk, and his work is driven by a desire for an adventurous, more satisfying reality.

Kenneth Mills aims to humanise a history often lost beneath abstract notions of “spiritual conquest,” “mission,” and “conversion.” Through the example of Diego de Ocaña, he explores how Catholic Christianity spread and pluralised in the early modern Spanish world and what this might reveal about the inner workings of an aspirant global empire.

Selected publications

Mills, Kenneth. “The Naturalization of Andean Christianities.” In The Cambridge History of Christianity. Volume 6: Reform and Expansion, 1500-1660, ed. R. Po-chia Hsia (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 508-539.

Mills, Kenneth. “Religion in the Early Modern Atlantic World” in The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World 1450-1850, eds. Nicholas Canny and Philip Morgan. Oxford Handbook Series (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 433-448.

Mills, Kenneth. Idolatry and Its Enemies: Colonial Andean Religion and Extirpation, 1640-1750. Princeton: Princeton University Press, second edition 2012 [1997].