Religion and Church in Mexican History

History 280E.001

Spring 2006
210 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
M 10-12

Long neglected, the history of religion in Mexico since the sixteenth century has become a popular and contentious field of study. This readings seminar will explore recent approaches by scholars writing in English, Spanish, and French. The emphasis will be more on issues of local religion, visual culture, and spiritual geography than institutions and theology, but the aim is to recognize and develop synoptic approaches, to ask not only ";What is religion for?"; but ";How is religion experienced?"; ";How have Mexican lives been transfigured by acceptance or rejection of religious beliefs, practices, and institutions?";

A sample of the assigned readings in English: William Christian?s Person and God in a Spanish Valley, Daniel Reff?s Plagues, Priests, and Demons, Terry Rugeley?s Of Wonders and Wise Men, Serge Gruzinski?s Images at War, Brian Connaughton?s Clerical Ideology in a Revolutionary Age, David Brading?s Mexican Phoenix, James Griffith?s Beliefs and Holy Places, several new doctoral dissertations, a forthcoming collection of articles on Local Religion in Colonial Mexico, and a group of essays by the instructor. Expect to read a book or two weekly, participate actively in seminar meetings, and write short essays.


This course is also listed as 285E.001