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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 Gentle Devotions of a Rebellious People

The Gentle Devotions of a Rebellious People

The Phenomenology of a Santo

(p.171) 7 The Gentle Devotions of a Rebellious People
Biography of a Mexican Crucifix

Jennifer Scheper Hughes

Oxford University Press

In 1998 the local devotees of the Cristo Aparecido held their Franciscan priests hostage over a dispute about the Cristo. Seeking to modernize local Roman Catholic faith, these parish priests criticized devotion to the Cristo and withheld their support from ritual celebrations of the image. The Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, the national government body empowered to protect the art historical legacy of the nation, intervened on behalf of local devotees and lay leaders to defend traditional celebration of the image. For local believers, the Cristo symbolizes their collective identity and the vulnerability of their own, embattled faith.

Keywords:   ethnic identity, confraternities and religious brotherhoods, mayordomos, liberation theology, charismatic Catholicism, fiesta, ritual, popular religion, religion and violence, museums, religious resistance

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