Mexican American Religions: Spirituality, Activism, and Culture

Mexican American Religions: Spirituality, Activism, and Culture

by Gastón Espinosa
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822341190

ISBN-13: 9780822341192

Pub. Date: 07/08/2008

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

This collection presents a rich, multidisciplinary inquiry into the role of religion in the Mexican American community. Breaking new ground by analyzing the influence of religion on Mexican American literature, art, activism, and popular culture, it makes the case for the establishment of Mexican American religious studies as a distinct, recognized field of

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Overview

This collection presents a rich, multidisciplinary inquiry into the role of religion in the Mexican American community. Breaking new ground by analyzing the influence of religion on Mexican American literature, art, activism, and popular culture, it makes the case for the establishment of Mexican American religious studies as a distinct, recognized field of scholarly inquiry. Scholars of religion, Latin American, and Chicano/a studies as well as of sociology, anthropology, and literary and performance studies, address several broad themes. Taking on questions of history and interpretation, they examine the origins of Mexican American religious studies and Mario Barrera’s theory of internal colonialism. In discussions of the utopian community founded by the preacher and activist Reies López Tijerina, César Chávez’s faith-based activism, and the Los Angeles-based Católicos Por La Raza movement of the late 1960s, other contributors focus on mystics and prophets. Still others illuminate popular Catholicism by looking at Our Lady of Guadalupe, home altars, and Los Pastores dramas (nativity plays) as vehicles for personal, social, and political empowerment.

Turning to literature, contributors consider Gloria Anzaldúa’s view of the borderlands as a mystic vision and the ways that Chicana writers invoke religious symbols and rhetoric to articulate a moral vision highlighting social injustice. They investigate the role of healing, looking at it in relation to both the Latino Pentecostal movement and the practice of the curanderismo tradition in East Los Angeles. Delving into to popular culture, they reflect on Luis Valdez’s video drama La Pastorela: “The Shepherds’ Play,” the spirituality of Chicana art, and the religious overtones of the reverence for the slain Tejana music star Selena. This volume signals the vibrancy and diversity of the practices, arts, traditions, and spiritualities that reflect and inform Mexican American religion.

Contributors: Rudy V. Busto, Davíd Carrasco, Socorro Castañeda-Liles, Gastón Espinosa, Richard R. Flores, Mario T. García, María Herrera-Sobek, Luís D. León, Ellen McCracken, Stephen R. Lloyd-Moffett, Laura E. Pérez, Roberto Lint Saragena, Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo, Kay Turner

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822341192
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
07/08/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
456
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

I. History and Interpretations of Mexican American Religions

1. History and Theory in the Study of Mexican American Religions / Gaston Espinosa 17

2. Pious Colonialism: Assessing a Church Paradigm for Chicano Identity / Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo 57

II. Mexican American Mystics and Prophets

3. Sacred Order, Sacred Space: Reies Lopez Tijerina and the Valle de Paz Community / Rudy V. Busto 85

4. Holy Activist, Secular Saint: Religion and the Social Activism of Cesar Chavez / Stephen R. Lloyrd-Moffett 106

5. Religion and the Chicano Movement: Catolicos Por La Raza / Mario T. Garcia 125

III. Mexican American Popular Catholicism

6. Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Politics of Cultural Interpretation / Socorro Castaneda-Liles 53

7. Voces de Fe: Mexican American Altaristas in Texas / Kay Turner 180

8. Los Pastores and the Gendered Politics of Location / Richard R. Flores 206

9. The Religious Vision of Gloria Anzaldua: Borderlands/La Frontera as a Shamanic Space / David Carrasco and Roberto Lint Sagarena 223

10. Voice and Vision in Chicana Religious Practice: The Literary Re-elaborations of Mary Helen Ponce, Denise Chavez, and Sandra Cisneros / Ellen McCracken 242

V. Mexican American Religions and Healing

11. Brown Moses: Francisco Olazabal and Mexican American Pentecostal Healing in the Borderlands / Gaston Espinosa 263

12. Borderlands Bodies and Souls: Mexican Religious Healing Practices in East L.A. / Luis D. Leon 296

VI. Mexican American Religions and Pop Culture

13. Luis Valdez's La Pastorela: "The Shepherds' Play": Tradition, Hybridity, and Transformation / Maria Herrera-Sobek 325

14. Hybrid Spiritualities and Chicana Altar-Based Art: The Work of Amalia Mesa-Bains / Laura E. Perez 338

15. Mexican Madonna: Selena and the Politics of Cultural Redemption / Gaston Espinosa 359

Conclusion: Reflections on Mexican American Religions and Culture 381

Bibliography 387

Contributors 429

Index 433

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