Department of Religious Studies

Josefrayn Sanchez-Perry

M.A., The University of Texas at Austin

Josefrayn Sanchez-Perry



Religion in the Americas; Late Post-Classic & Colonial Mesoamerica; Theories of Religious Transmission; Priesthood in the Aztec World; Nahuatl & K'iche' Languages


I am a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Religion in the Americas. My dissertation examines the ritual memory of Nahua priesthood from the perspective of Nahua elders and intellectuals who wrote about the Prehispanic past in colonial sources.

My project untangles the offices occupied by ritual specialists, women and men, who provided religious services for domestic and temple precinct settings. Based on my research to date, Nahua society built priesthood around a stratified classification of roles with strict boundaries and stipulations. In my dissertation, I analyze Postconquest archival materials of Nahua history and culture, including those held at the University of Texas at Austin, such as the Relaciones Geográficas and Primeros Libros. My dissertation proposes that during the introduction of the Christian religion, Indigenous elites and their scribes found ways to incorporate their own ritual systems into new contexts.

Because religious studies is an interdisciplinary field, I have been able to connect to other networks across the university, including LLILAS (Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies), the History department, as well as the Mesoamerica Center. At the moment, I am part of a project creating a basic to advanced online open access Nahuatl-language curriculum that involves Nahuatl speakers from Chicontepec, Ver., LLILAS, and web developers from COERLL.

You can follow my other work on twitter or academia.

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