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Profane and Sacred: Latino/a American Writers Reveal the Interplay of the Secular and the Religious

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Profane & Sacred examines religious discourse in contemporary Latino/a fiction, exploring how religion creates, mediates or changes Latino culture and identity. Much contemporary literary criticism on Latino/a literature has focused on the bilingual and bicultural nature of Latino identity, history and cultural production. But just as the multiplicity of cultures and languages has shaped Latino identity and history, so too has religion. Studying the religious discourse found in fiction can clearly enrich not only our perception of the diversity within the Hispanic communities, but also the diversity between sociologists and creative writers.

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Editorial Reviews

Christianity and Literature
A useful introduction to contemporary literature of interest to Christianity and Literature readers….These would be good texts for graduate courses; they deserve greater attention.
Benigno Trigo
This original contribution to the field of Latino/a literature, focuses on the representation of religion and its practices. Kevane gives a compelling account of the alternatives to Christian faith offered by Latino/a writers who believe that something is broken in the religious practice of Hispanic culture. With this book, Kevane also challenges the rigid categories often used to describe the faith and religious practice of Latino/as, and she enriches our thinking about the new and alternative stories these writers tell about religious experience.
David Luis-Brown
Given that most Latinos believe in God, most are first-generation immigrants, and at least one in four Latinos are poor, how can faith—which is frequently politically escapist—adequately confront oppression? Bridget Kevane explores how recent Latino/a novels provide extended reflections on this problem of the politics of faith, exposing both the incompatibilities of religious practices and social justice and also devising new forms of politically-interventionist faith. Profane & Sacred is an important contribution to an exciting new body of work on the political significance of Latino/a religious practices.
Hector Avalos
Bridget Kevane takes the reader on an insightful journey through the meandering road that is the U.S. Latino/a religious experience as expressed through literature. No one interested in the interaction of religion and literature can afford to leave closed the window that Dr. Kevane has opened through her gifted literary analysis of important Mexican American, Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Jewish-American works.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Bridget Kevane is associate professor of modern languages and literatures at Montana State University. She is the author of Latino Literature in America.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Violence, Faith, and Active Miracles in East Los Angeles:Their Dogs Came With Them and The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez Chapter 3 The Meaning of Consuelo and Chango's Fire: Latino Puerto Rican Theology Chapter 4 Spiritual Revolutions: God and Trujillo in In the Time of Butterflies and Geographies of Home Chapter 5 The Secret Jew: Days of Awe and A Simple Habana Melody (from when the world was good) Chapter 6 Conclusion

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