A Flock Divided: Race, Religion, and Politics in Mexico, by Matthew D. O'Hara

By Matthew D. O'Hara

Catholicism, because it constructed in colonial Mexico, helped to create a extensive and remarkably inclusive neighborhood of Christian topics, whereas it additionally divided that group into numerous smaller flocks. Taking this contradiction as a kick off point, Matthew D. O’Hara describes how spiritual notion and perform formed Mexico’s well known politics. As he indicates, faith facilitated the emergence of recent social different types and modes of belonging during which individuals—initially topics of the Spanish crown, yet later voters and different citizens of republican Mexico—found either major possibilities for bettering their position in society and significant constraints on their methods of pondering and behaving.

O’Hara specializes in interactions among church specialists and parishioners from the late-colonial period into the early-national interval, first in Mexico urban and later within the surrounding geographical region. Paying specific cognizance to disputes relating to caste prestige, the class of “Indian,” and the possession of estate, he demonstrates that spiritual collectivities from local parishes to casual devotions served as advanced yet powerful technique of political association for plebeians and peasants. whilst, longstanding spiritual practices and concepts made colonial social identities linger into the a long time following independence, good after republican leaders officially abolished the caste process that categorised participants in response to racial and ethnic standards. those institutional and cultural legacies will be profound, seeing that they raised basic questions about political inclusion and exclusion accurately whilst Mexico used to be attempting to envision and notice new varieties of political group. The modes of belonging and organizing created by way of colonialism supplied openings for well known mobilization, yet they have been consistently stalked via their origins as instruments of hierarchy and marginalization.

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