Convincing through fear
Note: What do you think of this response offered by one Native man to a missionary on the importance of baptism?
Note: Do you think fear was a good technique for converting people to Christianity? Why?
“These sacred pictures are half the instruction that one is able to give the Savages. I had desired some portrayals of hell and of lost souls; they sent us some on paper, but that is too confused. The devils are so mingled with the men that nothing can be identified therein, unless it is studied closely. If someone would depict three, four, or five demons tormenting one soul with different kinds of tortures,—one applying to it the torch, another serpents, another pinching it with red-hot tongs, another holding it bound with chains,—it would have a good effect, especially if everything were very distinct, and if rage and sadness appeared plainly in the face of the lost soul. Fear is the forerunner of faith in these barbarous minds.”
Relations des Jésuites, (1636), Cited in Alain BEAULIEU, Convertir les fils de Caïn : Jésuites et amérindiens nomades en Nouvelle-France, 1632-1642, Québec, Nuit Blanche, 1990, Québec, p.66.
French if available (si disponible)