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Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism: Reform and Revelation in Oaxaca, 1887–1934 Paperback – April 20, 2009

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Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism: Reform and Revelation in Oaxaca, 1887–1934 + The History of the Catholic Church in Latin America: From Conquest to Revolution and Beyond
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Editorial Reviews


Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism is an important and much-needed exploration of the evolution of religion, both popular and ecclesiastical, from the late nineteenth century to the coming of Lázaro Cárdenas in 1934. Shrewdly avoiding stark dichotomies in favor of understanding how popular needs and practices interacted with church projects, Edward Wright-Rios offers multifaceted insight into the religious experience of turn-of-the-century Oaxacans.”—Terry Rugeley, author of Of Wonders and Wise Men: Religion and Popular Cultures in Southeast Mexico, 1800–1876

Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism is original, important, and deeply and creatively researched. A pioneering regional study of church and religion in the early twentieth century, it makes an important contribution to the literature on negotiated modernity in Latin America and to an understanding of the local reworking of Catholicism in Oaxaca in a time of troubles for the church and the Mexican polity. It is a rare achievement.”—William Taylor, author of Magistrates of the Sacred: Priests and Parishoners in Eighteenth-Century Mexico

“[A]n imaginative, complex, and valuable work. With ample sources, it offers a powerful portrait of institutional revival. With few sources, creatively worked, it eloquently recovers the elusive heartbeat of Indian Catholicism and women’s ever-evolving sense of devotional place. By connecting these realms, Revolutions provides fresh and sophisticated insights into the interactions of Catholicism and modernity. Students of Mexico and religion must read it.”
(Matthew Butler Bulletin of Latin American Research)

“Wright-Rios’s ability to weave together church documents, popular accounts, and oral histories, as well as to engage contradictory sources, leaves us with a refreshing institutional and cultural portrayal of Mexican Catholicism.”
(Bonar L. Hernández Sandoval Hispanic American Historical Review)

“Faith is a difficult thing to research. However, in his work Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism, Edward Wright-Rios does a wonderful job exploring just this topic. . . . Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism, and its well-researched and presented stories, are invaluable to anyone interested in religiosity in contested spaces, gender-faith-power relationships, and the power of popular devotions in the midst of cultural encounter zones (border spaces). . . . It also serves as a powerful instructional tool with stories that are compelling and at times surprising. . . .”
(SilverMoon Ethnohistory)

“Gracefully written and informed by a wide-ranging grasp of religion’s intersections with political and economic life, especially in Oaxaca’s Indian communities, this endlessly absorbing book sets a new standard for twentieth-century Mexican religious history and should inspire comparative regional research for years to come.”
(Pamela Voekel American Historical Review)

“The text in Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism is undeniably a significant and laudable academic undertaking. . . . Wright Rios brings to life the complexities of faithful devotion in the regional Catholic communities, the dynamic and sometimes contentious relationship between clergy and laypersons, as well as the ongoing negotiation and evolving interpenetration of Catholic religious traditions and indigenous customs and understandings of faith and the Divine. . . .[C]ertainly it should be hoped that more work from Wright-Rios is on the horizon.”
(Mark Noll Missiology)

“Wright-Rios’s meticulously researched, engaging, and cautiously argued study is a model of balanced scholarship and essential reading for anyone interested in Mexican religious history.”
(Adrian A. Bantjes Catholic Historical Review)

About the Author

Edward Wright-Rios is Assistant Professor of History at Vanderbilt University.

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