About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Religion in Latin America

As a member of the Religion in World History group headed by David Lidenfeld that works to promote the discussion of religion in world history, I compiled a list of ten books on Latin American religion that world historians might find useful.

Why ten? I admit to using the “cutesy list” approach, and it seemed to fit the nature of the H-World list that I had sent it to.

I picked most of these works for two reasons: Either they serve as overviews for those looking for an introduction (such as the Creole Religions book) or they serve as specific cases in Latin America that I’ve noticed make good connections to similar processes elsewhere in the world (such as Diacon’s book on Brazil). Also, while Gustavo Gutierrez's book is the founding Bible of liberation theology for scholars, I chose the Boff brothers for readability.

If nothing, perhaps there will be some comments on the books selected that will prompt some to think of Latin American history as a place to look for comparative cases for their own interests.
  • Creole Religions of the Caribbean by Margarite Fernandez Olmos and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert. New York University Press, 2007.
  • Conversion of a Continent: Contemporary Religious Change in Latin America, edited by Timothy Steigenga and Edward Cleary. Rutgers University Press, 2008.
  • The Millennial Kingdom of the Franciscans in the New World by John Leddy Phelan. University of California Press, 1970.
  • Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprisings of 1835 in Bahia by Joao Jose Reis. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.
  • Millenarian Vision, Capitalist Reality: Brazil’s Contestado Rebellion, 1912-1916 by Todd Diacon. Duke University Press, 1991.
  • The Reformation of Machismo: Evangelical Conversion and Gender in Colombia by Elizabeth Brusco. University of Texas at Austin Press, 1995.
  • Peru’s Indian People and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest by Steve J. Stern (SECOND EDITION). University of Wisconsin Press, 1993.
  • God and Production in a Guatemala Town by Sheldon Annis. University of Texas at Austin Press, 1987.
  • The Church in Colonial Latin America, edited by John F. Schwaller. Scholarly Resources (now Rowman and Littlefield) Books, 2000.
  • Introducing Liberation Theology by Leonardo and Cleodovis Boff. Orbis Books, 1987.

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