February 9, 2019

Co-authored by Dr. Kate Kingsbury* and Dr. Andrew Chesnut He only appeared two years ago but Mexico’s newest folk saint is already being condemned by the Catholic Church in Mexico as worse than Santa Muerte. The Holy Child of Huachicolero (Santo Niño Huachicolero) appeared out of nowhere on social media in 2016 and has caused such consternation that both the Archbishop of Puebla and more recently, the Archdiocese of Mexico have rebuked the surreal folk saint as worse than Santa… Read more

January 28, 2019

By Guest Columnist Ezer R. May May* and translated from the original Spanish by Dr. Andrew Chesnut Currents of spirituality and religion have always coursed through the Latin American body politic. And now the dynamics of religious identity are having a major impact in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Brazil, and Mexico. We saw Jair Bolsonaro win the presidential elections in Brazil with strong support from the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD) as well as the coalition… Read more

January 20, 2019

Kate Kingsbury et Andrew Chesnut A travers le monde des Catholiques sont de plus en plus tentés par L’évangile de la prospérité, surtout en Afrique et en Amérique Latine. En Afrique, les messes catholiques prennent des allures de cérémonies pentecôtistes durant lesquelles il est fait l’apologie de la théologie de la prospérité. Lors de cette nouvelle liturgie inconnue de la majorité des catholiques, les paroissiens sont exhortés à faire des dons. Plus important est le don, plus importante sera la récompense…. Read more

January 16, 2019

Co-autoria por la Dra. Kate Kingsbury* y el Dr. Andrew Chesnut. Traducido del ingles por la Dra. Fabiola Chesnut, Jefa del Departamento de Artes Finas en Huguenot High School en Richmond, Virginia. A partir de las últimas décadas, está claro que el clero católico está presenciando una creciente demanda de exorcismos. Un número asombroso de personas se liberan de las fuerzas demoníacas todas las semanas, no solo en los paises en via de desarrollo sino también en Gran Bretaña y los… Read more

December 18, 2018

Por Ezer R. May May* Vientos de espiritualidades y religiosidades han soplado atravesando los discursos y las formas de hacer política en Latinoamérica. No es nuevo – las dinámicas de las identidades e identificaciones religiosas en el espacio público son los ingredientes que están modificando el ambiente que estamos observando, como en Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Brasil y México. Hemos observado la victoria presidencial de Jair Bolsonaro respaldada por la Iglesia Universal del Reino de Dios (IURD) liderada por… Read more

December 8, 2018

Co-authored by Dr. Kate Kingsbury* and Dr. Andrew Chesnut Mexicans will tell you that they are 90 percent Catholic but 100 percent Guadalupan. While the numbers aren’t entirely accurate anymore, it is definitely the case that the Virgin of Guadalupe has been a constituent part of Mexican national identity, reflected in the fact that millions of both women and men are named Guadalupe, many going by the nickname “Lupe,” such as a colleague at the University of Houston, Dr. Guadalupe… Read more

November 28, 2018

Co-authored by Dr. Ana Keila Mosca Pinezi* and Dr. Andrew Chesnut Two factors were decisive in the election of army captain, Jair Messias Bolsonaro, to the presidency – the attack by a knife-wielding assailant and the support of Bishop Edir Macedo, the head of Brazil’s second largest Pentecostal denomination, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. The Evangelical vote, as well as that of conservative Catholics, made the difference in the recent run-off election. With the slogan “Brazil above… Read more

November 21, 2018

Co-authored by Dr. Kate Kingsbury* and Dr. Andrew Chesnut While many Americans are now familiar with Santa Muerte, her less known paisano or compatriot, fellow Mexican folk saint Jesús Malverde is increasingly visible on both sides of the border. His latest appearance, to the great surprise of many, was in the Brooklyn court where El Chapo Guzman is being tried on multiple accounts of drug trafficking. One of Guzman’s attorneys claimed the 6 inch figure of the mustachioed Sinaloan folk… Read more

November 14, 2018

The interminable drug war in Mexico reveals that the lethal mix of religion and terrorism isn’t peculiar to the Middle East. Mexico is home to the world’s second largest Catholic population and third largest Christian one, behind only the U.S. and Brazil. Just as ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorize several continents in the name of Islam, certain drug cartels have appropriated folk saints and in the case of the Knights Templars (Caballeros Templarios) even created their own. Folk saints, such as Santa… Read more

November 1, 2018

Co-authored by Dr. Andrew Chesnut and David Metcalfe* In the U.S., the Catholic festival of All Hallowed Eve has taken on the darker image of Halloween, with haunted houses, horror movies, and the departed returning for trouble rather than tradition. In Latin America and Europe, where Catholic cultural influences have remained relatively strong, the first and second of November continue to hold their ancient ties to festivals associated with honoring, celebrating and continuing interaction with the dead. In Mexico, before… Read more

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