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6 - Practice and Community in a Spiritual Borderland

from Part II - The Caribbean in Veracruz

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 January 2023

Joseph M. H. Clark
Affiliation:
University of Kentucky
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Summary

Chapter 6 examines the role of mobility in Veracruz’s distinctive social and cultural landscape, focusing on how individuals moving between Veracruz and other ports established intercolonial networks and developed informal religious communities. In a series of case studies based on investigations of the Mexican Inquisition, the chapter considers border-crossing associations of free-black women, using their cases to demonstrate both Veracruz’s remarkable religious diversity and the occasionally surprising mobility of its residents. While heterodoxy was undoubtedly common in the early modern Atlantic, I demonstrate how the Mexican-Caribbean world conditioned particular religious practices in Veracruz. Describing Veracruz as a spiritual borderland, I argue people from a variety of backgrounds understood the city as a place where the ability to come and go with relative ease created overlapping systems of power and, consequently, space to articulate distinctive ideologies.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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