Chapter

If It Is Not Catholic, Is It Popular Catholicism? Evil Eye, Espiritismo, and Santería: Latina/o Religion within Latina/o Theology

Michelle A. González

in Decolonizing Epistemologies

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780823241354
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241392 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823241354.003.0008

Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia (FUP)

If It Is Not Catholic, Is It Popular Catholicism? Evil Eye, Espiritismo, and Santería: Latina/o Religion within Latina/o Theology

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Through a synthesis of personal ethnography, sociological and theological reflection, author Michelle González takes aim at the Christocentric, church-focused, and hyperphilosophical discourse of recent Latina/o theology. By focusing on three forms of popular religiosity, González aims to show that if Latina/o theologians are to address the religious needs of Latinas/os they must take seriously practices that church hierarchy and orthodox Catholic theology deride and frown on. Evil Eye, Santería, and Espiritismo are syncretic forms of Christianity that decenter religious practice, relocating it in ritual and communal memory. The chapter argues that if Latina/o theologians are to give credence to the epistemic productivity of Latina/o communities, they must challenge their orthodox Catholic assumptions, namely a focus on textual exegeses that presupposes a hierarchical system of knowledge certification that always devalues the experiences of subjects.

Keywords: Evil Eye; Santeria; Espiristimo; popular Catholicism; religious syncretism; Catholic theology

Chapter.  7425 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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