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New Worlds: A Religious History of Latin America by J. LynchEncompasses the time period from the first Christian evangelists' arrival in Latin America to the dictators of the late twentieth century. With unsurpassed knowledge of Latin American history, John Lynch sets out to explore the reception of Christianity by native peoples and how it influenced their social and religious lives as the centuries passed. As attentive to modern times as to the colonial period, Lynch also explores the extent to which Indian religion and ancestral ways survived within the new Christian culture. The book follows the development of religious culture over time by focusing on peak periods of change: the response of religion to the Enlightenment, the emergence of the Church from the wars of independence, the Romanization of Latin American religion as the papacy overtook the Spanish crown in effective control of the Church, the growing challenge of liberalism and the secular state, and in the twentieth century, military dictators' assaults on human rights. Throughout the narrative, Lynch develops a number of special themes and topics. Among these are the Spanish struggle for justice for Indians, the Church's position on slavery, the concept of popular religion as distinct from official religion, and the development of liberation theology.
Call Number: BR600 .L96 2012
Publication Date: 2012
Native American Religions of Central and South America by L. SullivanThe New World came into being in the Europeans' encounter with the indigenous religions and cultures of Central and South America. Yet these religions remain little known or are filtered through inadequate categories such as "animism," "superstition," or "syncretism." In this volume, an international group of the finest authorities working on the subject provide rich descriptions and provocative interpretations of religious ideas rarely gathered in one place. Since an exhaustive treatment would be impossible (it is estimated that there could be as many as fifteen thousand different South American languages living or extinct), the aim is to illustrate something of the range of religious beliefs and practices through cases that are exemplary. The first part of the book describes the religious views of the Aztec, Maya, and Inca, dating from the time prior to contact with Europeans. The rest of the book treats contemporary cases from the major cultural and geographical areas of Central and South America. Whether the focus is on myth, architecture, ritual celebrations, or shamanic practice, each essay provides a distinctive profile of the culture in question.Contributors include David Carrasco, Edgardo J. Cordeu, Mercedes de la Garza, Alfredo López Austin, Juan Ossia Acuña, Alejandra Siffredi, Lawrence E. Sullivan, Terence Turner, Peter van der Loo, Robin M. Wright, and Reiner Tom Zuidema.
Call Number: F2230.1.R3 C8513 2002
Publication Date: 2002
Competitive Spirits: Latin America's new religious economy by A. ChesnutFor over four centuries the Catholic Church enjoyed a religious monopoly in Latin America in which potential rivals were repressed or outlawed. Latin Americans were born Catholic and the only real choice they had was whether to actively practice the faith. Taking advantage of the legaldisestablishment of the Catholic Church between the late 1800s and the early 1900s, Pentecostals almost single-handedly built a new pluralist religious economy. By the 1950s, many Latin Americans were free to choose from among the hundreds of available religious "products," a dizzying array ofreligious options that range from the African-Brazilian religion of Umbanda to the New Age group known as the Vegetable Union. R. Andrew Chesnut shows how the development of religious pluralism over the past half-century has radically transformed the "spiritual economy" of Latin America. In order to thrive in this new religious economy, says Chesnut, Latin American spiritual "firms" must develop an attractive product andknow how to market it to popular consumers. Three religious groups, he demonstrates, have proven to be the most skilled competitors in the new unregulated religious economy. Protestant Pentecostalism, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and African diaspora religions such as Brazilian Candomble andHaitian Vodou have emerged as the most profitable religious producers. Chesnut explores the general effects of a free market, such as introduction of consumer taste and product specialization, and shows how they have played out in the Latin American context. He notes, for example, that women make upthe majority of the religious consumer market, and explores how the three groups have developed to satisfy women's tastes and preferences. Moving beyond the Pentecostal boom and the rise and fall of liberation theology, Chesnut provides a fascinating portrait of the Latin American religiouslandscape.
Call Number: BL2540 .C48 2003
Publication Date: 2003
On Earth As It Is in Heaven: religion in modern Latin America by V. Garrard-BurnettLatin America has long been strongly identified with the Roman Catholic Church. Yet the face of religion is changing in the region, as is evidenced by new landmarks that now appear on the social and geographic landscape. To date, most books on major religions in Latin America are specific to one religion only, and do not offer a comparative analysis. On Earth as It Is in Heaven: Religion in Modern Latin America not only examines the region's religious m, lange, but also gives equal coverage to other religious variations. The nine articles in this volume examine the variety of religious expression in Latin America, focusing upon Catholicism, popular Indian and African religious forms, and new elements such as Protestantism and Mormonism. Offering a comprehensive focus on one of the most prevalent social institutions in Latin American society, On Earth as It Is in Heaven is an excellent text for courses in Latin American history, religion, anthropology, sociology, and political science.
Religious Responses to Violence: Human Rights in Latin America Past and Present by A. WildeDuring the past half century, Latin America has evolved from a region of political instability and frequent dictatorships into one of elected governments. Although its societies and economies have undergone sweeping changes, high levels of violence have remained a persistent problem. Religious Responses to Violence: Human Rights in Latin America Past and Present offers rich resources to understand how religion has perceived and addressed different forms of violence, from the political and state violence of the 1970s and 1980s to the drug traffickers and youth gangs of today. The contributors offer many fresh insights into contemporary criminal violence and reconsider past interpretations of political violence, liberation theology, and human rights in light of new questions and evidence. In contrast to many other studies of violence, this book explores its moral dimensions--up close in lived experience--and the real consequences of human agency. Alexander Wilde provides a thoughtful substantive introduction, followed by thematic chapters on "rights," "violence," and case studies of ten countries throughout the region. The book breaks new ground examining common responses as well as differences between Catholic and Evangelical pastoral accompaniment. These new studies focus on the specifically religious character of their responses--how they relate their mission and faith to violence in different contexts--to better understand how and why they have taken action.
Conversion of a Continent: Contemporary Religious Change in Latin America by T. J. Steigenga; E. L. ClearyA massive religious transformation has unfolded over the past forty years in Latin America and the Caribbean. In a region where the Catholic Church could once claim a near monopoly of adherents, religious pluralism has fundamentally altered the social and religious landscape. Conversion of a Continent brings together twelve original essays that document and explore competing explanations for how and why conversion has occurred. Contributors draw on various insights from social movement theory to religious studies to help outline its impact on national attitudes and activities, gender relations, identity politics, and reverse waves of missions from Latin America aimed at the American immigrant community. Unlike other studies on religious conversion, this volume pays close attention to who converts, under what circumstances, the meaning of conversion to the individual, and how the change affects converts' beliefs and actions. The thematic focus makes this volume important to students and scholars in both religious studies and Latin American studies.
Publication Date: 2010
Cultures of Devotion: Folk Saints of Spanish America by F. GrazianoSpanish America has produced numerous "folk saints" -- venerated figures regarded as miraculous but not officially recognized by the Catholic Church. Some of these have huge national cults with hundreds -- perhaps millions -- of devotees. In this book Frank Graziano prvides the first overview in any language of these saints, offering in-depth studies of the beliefs, rituals, and devotions surrounding seven representative figures. These case studies are illuminated by comparisons to some hundred additional saints from contemporary Spanish America. Among the six primary cases are Difunta Correa, at whose shrines devotees offer bottles of water and used auto parts in commemoration of her tragic death in the Argentinian desert. Gaucho Gil is only one of many gaucho saints, whose characteristic narrative involves political injustice and Robin-Hood crimes on behalf of the exploited people. The widespread cult of the Mexican saint Nino Fidencio is based on faith healing performed by devotees who channel his powers.; Nino Compadrito is an elegantly dressed skeleton of a child, whose miraculous powers are derived in part from an Andean belief in the power of the skull of one who has suffered a tragic death. Graziano draws upon site visits and extensive interviews with devotees, archival material, media reports, and documentaries to produce vivid portraits of these fascinating popular movements. In the process he sheds new light on the often fraught relationship between orthodox Catholicism and folk beliefs and on an important and little-studied facet of the dynamic culture of contemporary Spanish America.
Publication Date: 2006
Resurgent Voice in Latin America: Indigenous Peoples, Political Mobilization, and Religious Change by E. L. Cleary; T. J. SteigengaAfter more than 500 years of marginalization, Latin America's forty million Indians have recently made major strides in gaining political recognition and civil rights. In this book, social scientists explore the important role of religion in indigenous activism, showing the ways that religion has strengthened indigenous identity and contributed to the struggle for indigenous rights in the region. Drawing on case studies from Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Mexico, the contributors explore four key questions. How have traditional religions interacted with Christianity to produce new practices and beliefs? What resources, motivations, and ideological legitimacies do religious institutions provide for indigenous social movements? How effective are these movements in achieving their goals? Finally, as new religious groups continue to compete for adherents in the region, how will individuals' religious choices affect political outcomes? Resurgent Voices in Latin America offers new insight into the dynamics of indigenous social movements and into the complex and changing world of Latin American religions. The essays show that religious beliefs, practices, and institutions have both affected and been affected by political activism.
Publication Date: 2004
Christianity in Latin America by Hans-Jürgen PrienWinner of the 2013 Choice Outstanding Academic Title AwardChristianity in Latin America provides a complete overview of over 500 years of the history of Christianity in the 'New World'. The inclusion of German research in this book is an important asset to the Anglo-American research area, in disclosing information that was hitherto not available in English. This work will present the reader with a very good survey into the history of Christianity on the South American continent, based on a tremendous breadth of literature.