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Gregorio Lopez was quite probably influenced by illuminism (or alumbradismo5) , the typically Spanish heresy which frightened the Inquisition so much that it developed a systematic suspicion about any kind of mysticism in general. One may even consider Venerable Gregorio Lopez, whose beatification trial was stopped abruptly, as the precursor of quietism. His orthodoxy, though, was never questioned despite close surveillance on the part of the Holy Office, which did arrest and condemn several of his creole disciples.

105), the New World was, for peasants wishing to free themselves from lordly tutelage, a "free and royal" land, a "blessed country," where Spaniards, 'equal in dignity, would have no lord except the king. The tragedy, as Las Casas bitterly observes, was that the conquerors and settlers, nobles or laymen, all aspired to become encomenderos, 3 that is, lords of Indians. Only a small minority was successful in such an endeavor, hence the frustrations that generated new expeditions, unrest, or even revolts.

The Dominican Las Casas, basing his views on the testimony of Columbus's log book as well as on his own experience, was the most eloquent exponent of the native Indian's preChristian qualities. Moreover, he did not merely celebrate the Indian as such, but even thought about the ideal model of a mestizo Christian republic, something quite exceptional in colonial times. The case of the Jesuit missions, the reducciones, particularly those of Paraguay (1609-1767), is more complex. They were unquestionably part of a Christian utopian vision, which the Jesuits adorned in their propaganda with the colors of the true primitive church, as opposed to the countermodel of the society made up of the Spaniards together with their creole and mestizo offspring.

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