ROBERT ROYAL ON CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

"Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus," by Sebastiano del Piombo, Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus,” by Sebastiano del Piombo, Metropolitan Museum of Art

A reader wrote me privately this morning to ask my opinion of Christopher Columbus.  I’m not sure my opinion counts for much, as I am hardly an expert on Columbus, but I have long appreciated Robert Royal’s writing on the subject.  Royal is a conservative Catholic historian and president of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C.  In the larger context of academic debates over Columbus and the implications of his voyages, Royal comes in at the  sympathetic end of the continuum.  I would not take his position as the final word, but it is worth reading, and probably a useful counterpoint to the dominant academic position.

Click here to read Royal’s 1999 article in First Things, “Columbus and the Beginning of the World.”

2 responses to “ROBERT ROYAL ON CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

  1. Royal’s piece is quite nuanced and helpful. Still, though, he underplays the entire “Doctrine of Discovery” part of the era’s social imaginary. Few Native Americans “celebrate” the holiday … at least that I know of. Mark Charles, who spoke in chapel here a year ago, has this op-ed: http://wirelesshogan.blogspot.com/2015/10/why-america-needs-to-remember-columbus-day.html.

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