Horizons of the Sacred : Mexican Traditions in U.S. Catholicism / Edition 1

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Horizons of the Sacred explores the distinctive worldview underlying the faith and lived religion of Catholics of Mexican descent living in the United States. Religious practices, including devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, celebration of the Day of the Dead, the healing tradition of curanderismo, and Good Friday devotions such as the Way of the Cross (Via Crucis), reflect the increasing influence of Mexican traditions in U.S. Catholicism, especially since Mexicans and Mexican Americans are a growing group in most Roman Catholic congregations.In their introduction, Timothy Matovina and Gary Riebe-Estrella analyze the ways Mexican rituals and beliefs pose significant challenges and opportunities for Catholicism in the United States. Original essays by theologians, historians, and ethnographers provide a rich interdisciplinary dialogue on how religious traditions function for Mexican American Catholics, revealing the symbolic world at the heart of their spirituality. The authors speak to the diverse meanings behind these ceremonies, explaining that Mexican American (and other Latino) Catholics use them to express not only religious devotion, but also ethnic identity and patriotism, solidarity, and, in some cases, their condition as exiles. The result is a multilayered vision of Mexican American religion, which touches as well on issues of racism and discrimination, poverty, and the role of women.
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Editorial Reviews

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"Horizons of the Sacred is an inviting multidisciplinary collection of essays about Mexican American Catholics. . . . The book challenges domination in American culture and shows traditions strengthening Mexican Americans against injustice. The authors are careful not to assume Catholic knowledge on the part of readers. The book is intended for classroom use, scholars, church leaders, pastoral ministers and meets its goals. Audiences may draw different benefits from it but each will be pleased, for the authors are eloquent. Ideas swarm. No review can do justice to Horizons."—Yanick St. Jean, University of Wisconsin. Catholic Books Review, 2003.

"Since the Hispanic or Latino population of the United States represents 20 countries, the editors . . . have chosen a specific focus for this study: the religious traditions of Mexican American communities."—Theology Digest 50:3, Fall 2003

"Those wishing to broaden their perspective will find in this collection a sound resource. Thus, this book will be useful for scholars of liturgy, sacraments, culture and religion, inculturation, popular religion, ritual studies, cultural anthropology, theological anthropology, and history. It is especially good for liturgists and liturgical theologians working in a Mexican American context as well as with other Hispanic/Latino groups since some of the core values and approached presented are shared among them."—Raul Gomez, S.D.D, Sacred Heart School of Theology, Worship, March 2004, col. 78, no. 2

"This volume is both a welcome contribution to the growing literature on the religious practices of Hispanic immigrants and a useful resource for reflecting on the theological implications of relgiosidad popular (religion of the people)."—John T. Ford, Catholic University of America, Religious Studies Review, January 2004, vol. 30, no. 1

"In Horizons of the Sacred, the authors deal specifically with the Mexican American role and influence within the Catholic Church in the United States. Matovina and Riebe-Estrella state that while at one time the Catholic Church was dominated by European immigrants, the modern Catholic Church remains an entity where Mexican Americans continue to practice their religious custom and traditions, and thus have helped shape many of the rituals, practices, and traditions within the context of modern day Catholicism. . . . Overall, Matovina and Riebe-Estrella have compiled a valuable and much-needed addition to the understanding of Mexican American Catholic traditions. This book will be of value and interest to students, scholars, church ministers, and lay readers who wish to understand how Mexican American customs and traditions are, and will continue to be, a part of the Catholic tradition in the United States."—Roy Lujan, New Mexico Highlands University, Western Historical Quarterly, Autumn 2004

"Horizons of the Sacred is a groundbreaking book about the world of Latino popular religiosity and its transformation of the meaning of Catholicism in the United States."—Mario T. Garcia, University of California Santa Barbara

"This outstanding volume illuminates the rich and vibrant symbolic world underlying the religious mestizaje of Mexican Americans. It is essential reading for scholars and pastoralists alike."—Virgilio Elizondo, Mexican American Cultural Center, San Antonio, Texas

"Horizons of the Sacred is an excellent book that takes the reader into the world of Mexican American popular Catholicism and spirituality. Through a combination of case studies and theoretical essays, the collection successfully offers openings into the complex and layered meanings expressed by popular religious practices."—Gerald E. Poyo, St. Mary's University

"Matovina and Riebe-Estrella have produced a collection of scholarly articles that combines historical, social science and theological perspectives on the Catholicism of Mexican Americans/Chicanos in the United States."—Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J.

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