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Biography of a Mexican CrucifixLived Religion and Local Faith from the Conquest to the Present$
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Jennifer Scheper Hughes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367065

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367065.001.0001

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The Red Bishop, the Cristo, and the Aesthetics of Liberation

The Red Bishop, the Cristo, and the Aesthetics of Liberation

(p.131) 6 The Red Bishop, the Cristo, and the Aesthetics of Liberation
Biography of a Mexican Crucifix

Jennifer Scheper Hughes

Oxford University Press

In the twentieth century traditional devotion to religious images, like the Cristo Aparecido was affected by the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council and by the socially and politically radical liberation theology movement. Liberation theology was initially suspicious of local celebrations of images of Jesus’ passion on the cross, worrying that these devotions inevitably led poor Catholics to resignation and political passivity. The revolutionary, liberationist bishop of Cuernavaca, Mexico, don Sergio Méndez Arceo, removed many of the traditional baroque saints’ images from his cathedral. However, he was an admirer of the Cristo Aparecido and a friend of the Cristo’s devotees in Totolapan, Morelos, who were among the most active members of the Christian base community movement in Mexico.

Keywords:   Vatican II, liberation theology, liturgy, church architecture, don Sergio Méndez Arceo, aesthetics, Christian base communities, popular religion

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