1st Edition

Mexican American Religions An Introduction

By Brett Hendrickson Copyright 2022
    234 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Mexican American Religions is a concise introduction to the religious life of Mexican American people in the United States. This accessible volume uses historical narrative to explore the complex religious experiences and practices that have shaped Mexican American life in North America. It addresses the religious impact of U.S. imperial expansion into formerly Mexican territory and examines how religion intertwines with Mexican and Mexican American migration into and within the United States. This book also delves into the particularities and challenges faced by Mexican American Catholics in the United States, the development and spread of Mexican American Protestantism and Pentecostalism, and a growing religious diversity. Topics covered include:

    • Mesoamerican religions
    • Iberian religion and colonial evangelization of New Spain
    • The Colonial era
    • Religion in the Mexican period
    • The U.S.-Mexican War and the racialization of Mexican American religion
    • Mexican migration and the Catholic Church
    • Mexican American Protestants
    • Mexican American Evangelical and Charismatic Christianity
    • Mexican American Catholics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
    • Curanderismo
    • Religion and Mexican American civil rights
    • Pilgrimage and borderland connections
    • Mexican American Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, and Secularism

    Mexican American Religions provides an overview of this incredibly diverse community and its ongoing cultural contribution. Ideal for students and scholars approaching the topic for the first time, the book includes sections in each chapter that focus on Mexican American religion in practice.

    Part I Mexican American Religious History

    1. Indigenous Religions: Mesoamerica and the North

    2. Iberian Religion and Colonial Evangelization of New Spain

    3. The Colonial Era in Northern New Spain

    4. Religion in the Mexican Period

    5. Religion and Race: The U.S.-Mexican War and Mexican Americans

    6. Mexican Migration and the Catholic Church, 1880-1940

    7. Mexican American Protestants

    8. Mexican American Evangelicals and Charismatic Christians

    9. Mexican American Catholics in the 20th and 21st Centuries

    Part II Topics in Mexican American Religion

    10. Curanderismo

    11. Religion and Mexican American Civil Rights

    12. Transnational Religious Devotions: Mexican American Religions in Transit

    13. Mexican American Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Mormons, and "Nones"


    Brett Hendrickson is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, USA.

    "Mexican American Religions: An Introduction is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the history of Mexican American people and how their religious beliefs, traditions, and practices interact with broader cultural, political, and historical themes. An invaluable resource for teachers, students, and general readers alike."

    Kristy Nabhan-Warren, University of Iowa, USA.

    "Mexican American Religions: An Introduction provides the most comprehensive and accessible treatment of this subject to date. Spanning Indigenous pre-conquest religions to the present, as well as the plurality of religious traditions Mexican Americans practice, it also encompasses insightful thematic chapters that collectively address major issues in the study of these religions."

    Timothy Matovina, University of Notre Dame, USA.

    "This textbook deftly examines a broad history of Mexican American religions and engages complex racial and ethnic issues with attention to the built environment as well as the politics of knowledge transmission. Moreover, the author’s commitment to revealing how practice fits into different historical periods and political contexts productively expands how we can think about the study of religion."

    Elaine Peña, George Washington University, USA.