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Christianity in Latin America
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From the arrival of the conquistadores in the fifteenth century to the spread of the Pentecostal movement today, Christianity has moulded, coerced, refashioned, and enriched Latin America. Likewise, Christianity has been changed, criticized, and renewed as it crossed the Atlantic. These changes now affect its practice and understanding, not only in South and Central America and the Caribbean, but also - through immigration and global communication - around the world. Focusing on this mutually constitutive relationship, Christianity in Latin America presents the important encounters between people, ideas, and events of this large, heterogeneous subject. In doing so, it takes readers on a fascinating journey of explorers, missionaries, farmers, mystics, charlatans, evangelists, dictators, and martyrs. This book offers an accessible and engaging review of the history of Christianity in Latin America with a widely ecumenical focus to foster understanding of the various forces shaping both Christianity and the region.


'Christianity in Latin America is an excellent introduction for those wishing to study the impact of Christianity on a continent and its impact beyond.'

Source: Church History

'This book is a good introduction to the extremely complex issue of Christianity in Latin America. … There is no doubt that [it] will prove to be a very valuable textbook in survey courses dealing with the Church in Latin America. It could also be profitably used in survey courses of Latin American history to provide a unique topical focus.'

Source: Catholic Historical Review

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Some Suggestions for Further Reading
Sources Referenced
Sources referenced
Chapter 1: foundations
Christian, Jr., William, A.Local Religion in Sixteenth-Century Spain. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981.
Clendinnen, Inga. Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517–1570. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Elliott, J. H.Imperial Spain: 1469–1716. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1963.
León-Portilla, Miguel. “Those Made Worthy by Divine Sacrifice: The Faith of Ancient Mexico.” In South and Meso-American Native Spirituality: From the Cult of the Feathered Serpent to Theology of Liberation, edited by Gary, H. Gossen in collaboration with Miguel León-Portilla. New York: Crossroads Publishing Company, 1993.
Marzal, Manuel M. “Transplanted Spanish Catholicism.” In South and Meso-American Native Spirituality: From the Cult of the Feathered Serpent to Theology of Liberation, edited by Gary, H. Gossen in collaboration with Miguel León-Portilla. New York: Crossroads Publishing Company, 1993.
Redfield, Robert. “The Social Organization of Tradition.” In Peasant Society: A Reader, edited by Jack, M. Potter, May, N. Díaz, and George, M. Foster. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1967.
Chapter 2: the arrival of christianity
Bakewell, Peter. A History of Latin America, 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004.
Burns, Bradford, ed. A Documentary History of Brazil. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966.
Hanke, Lewis. The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1949.
MacCormack, Sabine. Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991.
Pagden, Anthony. The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of Comparative Ethnology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.
Taylor, William B.Two Shrines of the Cristo Renovado: Religion and Peasant Politics in Late Colonial Mexico.” American Historical Review 110, no. 4 (October 2005): 945–974.
Villa-Flores, Javier. “‘To Lose One's Soul’: Blasphemy and Slavery in New Spain, 1596–1669.” Hispanic American Historical Review 82, no. 3 (2002): 435–468.
Chapter 3: the shaping of the faith
Andrien, Kenneth J.Andean Worlds: Indigenous History, Culture, and Consciousness under Spanish Rule, 1532–1825. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2001.
Burns, Kathryn. Colonial Habits: Convents and the Spiritual Economy of Cuzco, Peru. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999.
Clissold, Stephen. The Saints of South America. London: Charles Knight and Co. Limited, 1972.
Cushner, Nicholas P.Farm and Factory: The Jesuits and the Development of Agrarian Capitalism in Colonial Quito, 1600–1767. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1982.
Ganster, Paul. “Churchmen.” In Cities and Society in Colonial Latin America, edited by Hoberman, Louisa Schell and Socolow, Susan Migden. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986.
Holler, Jacqueline. Escogidas Plantas: Nuns and Beatas in Mexico City, 1531–1601. Washington, D.C.: American Historical Association/Columbia University Press, Gutenberg-e, 1999.
Holler, Jacqueline. “The Spiritual and Physical Ecstasies of a Sixteenth-Century Beata: Marina de San Miguel Confesses before the Mexican Inquisition.” In Colonial Lives: Documents on Latin American History, 1550–1850, edited by Richard Boyer and Geoffrey Spurling. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Hordes, Stanley. “The Inquisition as Economic and Political Agent: The Campaign of the Mexican Holy Office against the Crypto-Jews in the Mid-Seventeenth Century.” The Americas 39, no. 1 (July 1882): 23–38.
Lockhart, James. The Nahuas after the Conquest: A Social and Cultural History of the Indians of Central Mexico, Sixteenth through Eighteenth Centuries. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992.
MacCormack, Sabine. Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991.
Marrero, Leví . Cuba: Economía y sociedad. Vol. 5, El Siglo XVII (III). Madrid: Editorial Playor, S. A., 1976.
Martín, Luis. Daughters of the Conquistadores: Women of the Viceroyalty of Peru. Dallas, TX: Southern Methodist University Press, 1983.
Myers, Kathleen Ann. Neither Saints nor Sinners: Writing the Lives of Women in Spanish America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Myscofski, Carole A.The Magic of Brazil: Practice and Prohibition in the Early Colonial Period, 1590–1620.” History of Religions 40, no. 2 (November 2000): 153–176.
Schwaller, John F.The Church in Colonial Latin America. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2000.
Silverblatt, Irene. “New Christians and New World Fears in Seventeenth-Century Peru.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 42, no. 3 (July 2000): 524–546.
Nancy, Deusen. The Souls of Purgatory: The Spiritual Diary of a Seventeenth-Century Afro-Peruvian Mystic, Ursula de Jesús. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2004.
Chapter 4: reform movements
Alcaide, Elisa Luque. “Reformist Currents in the Spanish-American Councils of the Eighteenth Century.” The Catholic Historical Review 91, no. 4 (October 2005): 743–760.
Arrom, Silvia Marina. Containing the Poor: The Mexico City Poor House, 1774–1871. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000.
Bakewell, Peter. A History of Latin America, 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004.
Brown, Jonathan C.Latin America: A Social History of the Colonial Period. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson, 2000.
Clune, John James. “A Cuban Convent in the Age of Enlightened Reform: The Observant Franciscan Community of Santa Clara of Havana, 1768–1808.” The Americas 57, no. 3 (January 2001): 309–327.
Karasch, Mary. “Zumbi of Palmares: Challenging the Portuguese Colonial Order.” In The Human Tradition in Colonial Latin America, edited by Kenneth, J. Andrien. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2002.
Kuznesof, Elizabeth Anne. “Slavery and Childhood in Brazil (1550–1888).” In Raising an Empire: Children in Early Modern Iberia and Colonial Latin America, edited by Ondina, E. González and Premo, Bianca. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007.
Lynch, John. Bourbon Spain, 1700–1808. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1989.
Mörner, Magnus. “The Expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain and Spanish America in 1767 in Light of Eighteenth-Century Regalism.” The Americas 23, no. 2 (October 1966): 156–164.
Seed, Patricia. To Love, Honor, and Obey in Colonial Mexico: Conflicts over Marriage Choice, 1574–1821. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988.
Socolow, Susan M. “Acceptable Partners: Marriage Choice in Colonial Argentina, 1778–1810.” In Sexuality and Marriage in Colonial Latin America, edited by Asunción Lavrin, . Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989.
Taylor, William B.Magistrates of the Sacred: Priests and Parishioners in Eighteenth-Century Mexico. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996.
Chapter 5: the church in turmoil
Agassiz, Louis and Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary. A Journey in Brazil. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.
Butler, Matthew. “Keeping the Faith in Revolutionary Mexico: Clerical and Lay Resistance to Religious Persecution, East Michoacán, 1926–1929.” The Americas 59, no. 1 (July 2002): 9–32.
Calderón de la Barca, Frances. Life in Mexico during a Residence of Two Years in that Country. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1843.
Cooney, Jerry W.The Destruction of the Religious Orders in Paraguay, 1810–1824.” The Americas 36, no. 2 (October 1979): 177–198.
Hahner, June E.Women Through Women's Eyes: Latin American Women in Nineteenth-Century Travel Accounts. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1998.
Knowlton, Robert. “Expropriation of Church Property in Nineteenth-Century Mexico and Colombia: A Comparison.” The Americas 25, no. 4 (April 1969): 387–401.
Lavrin, Asunción. “Mexican Nunneries from 1835 to 1860: Their Administrative Policies and Relations with the State.” The Americas 28, no. 3 (January 1972): 288–310.
Lynch, John. Argentine Caudillo: Juan Manuel de Rosas. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2001.
Macklin, Barbara June, and Crumrine, N. Ross. “Three North Mexican Folk Saint Movements.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 15, no. 1 (January 1973): 89–105.
Mead, Karen. “Gender, Welfare and the Catholic Church in Argentina: Conferencias de Señoras de San Vicente de Paúl, 1890–1916.” The Americas 58, no. 1 (July 2001): 91–119.
Nava, Alex. “Teresa Urrea: Mexican Mystic, Healer, and Apocalyptic Revolutionary.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 73, no. 2 (June 2005): 497–519.
Román, Reinaldo L.Spiritists versus Spirit-mongers: Julia Vázquez and the Struggle for Progress in 1920s Puerto Rico.” Centro Journal 14, no. 2 (Fall 2002): 27–43.
Sowell, David. The Tale of Healer Miguel Perdomo Neira: Medicine, Ideologies, and Power in the Nineteenth-Century Andes. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2001.
Toussaint-Samson, Adèle. A Parisian in Brazil. Trans. Emma Toussaint. Boston: James H. Earle, 1891.
Winn, Peter. Americas: The Changing Faces of Latin America and the Caribbean. 3rd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
Yeager, Gertrude. “Female Apostolates and Modernization in Mid-Nineteenth Century Chile.” The Americas 55, no. 3 (January 1999): 425–458.
Chapter 6: the church's new place
Brown, Diana De G., and Bick, Mario. “Religion, Class, and Context: Continuities and Discontinuities in Brazilian Umbanda.” American Ethnologist 14, no. 1 (February 1987): 73–93.
Hortal, Jesús. “Instituições eclesiásticas e evangelização no Brasil.” In Missão da igreja no Brasil. São Paulo: Edições Loyola, 1973.
Isasi-Díaz, Ada María. “Lo Cotidiano: A Key Element of Mujerista Theology.” Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology 10, no. 2 (August 2002): 5–17.
Klaiber, Jeffrey L.The Catholic Lay Movement in Peru: 1867–1959.” The Americas 40, no. 2 (October 1983): 149–170.
Levine, Robert M., and José Carlos Sebe Bom Meihy, . The Life and Death of Carolina Maria de Jesus. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995.
Mallimaci, Fortunato. “La Iglesia en los regímenes populistas (1930–1959).” In Resistencia y esperanza: Historia del pueblo cristiano en América Latina y el Caribe, edited by Dussel, Enrique. San Jose [Costa Rica]: DEI, 1995.
Pineda, Ana María. “Imágenes de Dios en el camino: Retablos, Ex-votos, Milagritos, and Murals.” Theological Studies 65, no. 2 (June 2004): 364–379.
Zúñiga, Portuondo Olga. La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre: Símbolo de cubanía. Santiago de Cuba: Editorial Oriente, 1995.
Prien, Hans-Jürgen. La historia del cristianismo in América Latina. Salamanca: Ediciones Sígueme, 1985.
Schoultz, Lars. “Reform and Reaction in the Colombian Catholic Church.” The Americas 30, no. 2 (October 1973): 229–250.
Sigmund, Paul E.Revolution, Counterrevolution, and the Catholic Church in Chile.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 483 (January 1985): 25–35.
Williams, Margaret Todaro. “Integralism and the Brazilian Catholic Church.” The Hispanic American Historical Review 54, no. 3 (August 1974): 431–452.
Chapter 7: protestant immigration
Alberdi, Juan Bautista. Bases y puntos de partida para la organización política de la República Argentina.Buenos Aires: Ediciones Estrada, 1943.
Chapter 9: catholicism after vatican ii
Aquino, María Pilar. Nuestro clamor por la vida: Teología latinoamericana desde la perspectiva de la mujer. San Jose [Costa Rica]: Editorial DEI, 1992. Translated by Dinah Livingstone under the title Our Cry for Life: Feminist Theology from Latin America (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993).
Boff, Leonardo . Iglesia, carisma e poder: Ensayos de eclesiología militante. Bogota: Indo-American Press Service, 1982. Translated by John Dierksmeyer under the title Church, Charisma and Power: Liberation Theology and the Institutional Church (New York: Crossroads Publishing Co., 1985).
Cardenal, Ernesto. El evangelio en Solentiname. Salamanca: Ediciones Sígueme, 1975–1977. Translated by Donald D. Walsh under the title Gospel in Solentiname (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1976–1978).
Dussel, Enrique D.Historia de la iglesia en América Latina. 2nd ed. Barcelona: Editorial Nova Terra, 1972.
Gutiérrez, Gustavo. En busca de los pobres de Jesucristo. Lima: Instituto Bartolomé de las Casas-Rimac, 1992. Translated by Robert R. Barr under the title Las Casas: In Search of the Poor of Jesus Christ (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993).
Gutiérrez, Gustavo. Teología de la liberación: Perspectivas. Lima: CEP, 1971. Translated by Sister Caridad Inda and John Eagleson under the title Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press, 1973).
Hennelly, Alfred T., ed. Santo Domingo and Beyond: Documents and Commentaries from the Fourth General Conference of Latin American Bishops. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993.
Lewis, Oscar. The Children of Sánchez: Autobiography of a Mexican Family. New York: Random House, 1961.
Lewis, Oscar. La Vida: A Puerto Rican Family in the Culture of Poverty–San Juan and New York. New York: Random House, 1966.
Prien, Hans-Jürgen. La historia del cristianismo in América Latina. Salamanca: Ediciones Sígueme, 1985.
Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation: “The Truth Makes Us Free.” Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1986.
Segundo, Juan Luis. Teología abierta para el laico adulto. 5 vols. Buenos Aires: Ediciones C. Lohlé, 1968–1972. Translated by John Drury under the title A Theology for Artisans of a New Humanity (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1973–1974).
Sobrino, Jon. Cristología desde América Latina: Esbozo a partir del seguimiento del Jesús histórico. Mexico City: Ediciones CRT, 1977. Translated by John Drury under the title Christology at the Crossroads: A Latin American Approach (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1978).
Chapter 10: pentecostalism and autochthonous movements
Álvarez, Carmelo E., “Panorama histórico dos pentecostalismos latino-americanos e caribenhos.” In Na força do espírito: Os pentecostais na América-Latina: Um desafio às igrejas históricas, edited by Benjamim, F. Guitérrez and Silveira Campos, Leonildo. São Paulo: Asociación de Iglesias Presbiterianas y Reformadas de América Latina, 1996.
d'Epinay, Lalive Christian. El refugio de las masas: Estudio sociológico del protestantismo chileno. Santiago [Chile]: Editorial del Pacífico, 1968.


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