“In Search of Souls, in Search of Indians”

Julia Cummings O'Hara

in Race, Nation, and Religion in the Americas

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780195149180
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835386 | DOI:
“In Search of Souls, in Search of Indians”

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This essay explores the evolving landscape of religious and racial difference in the Sierra Tarahumara region of Chihuahua, Mexico, over the first half of the twentieth century. Specifically, the essay explores the competing efforts of Jesuit missionaries and the Mexican state to evangelize and “civilize” the Tarahumara Indians after the revolution of 1910. A fundamental argument is that, in the Sierra Tarahumara, both the religious (Jesuit) missionaries of the Catholic church and the secular (cultural) missionaries of the Mexican state played important roles in linking local understandings of race and religion to the national-level debates over the “Indian problem” and national identity that emerged in Mexico after the revolution.

Keywords: Catholic; Chihuahua; Indians; Jesuit; Mexico; missionaries; revolution; Tarahumara

Chapter.  10456 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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