Book

Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

John Early

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780813040134
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043838 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813040134.001.0001
Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

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The book describes the interaction in Maya communities between Maya and Catholic theological worldviews from the middle to the end of the twentieth century. Both worldviews were experiencing periods of crisis. The Maya crisis was rooted in loss of land and extreme poverty. This brought their theology into question since the covenant with their gods was supposed to protect their communities. The Catholic Church, following the Liberal suppression, had returned to Maya communities. It attempted to evangelize them according to the Catholic worldview formulated by the sixteenth-century Council of Trent. This did little to alleviate the Maya crisis. This shortcoming was systemic within Catholicism resulting in a crisis due to the inability of Tridentine theology to give meaning to people's lives in the twentieth century. A progressive sector of Catholicism attempted to confront the crisis by the Action Catholic movement with its foundation in biblical theology. In numerous Maya communities, groups studied biblical liberation and implemented it in programs of empowerment and social justice. But due to continuing structures of injustice, urban ladino Marxists infiltrated some Action Catholic communities resulting in armed rebellions. Assisting Maya liberation resulted in conversion experiences for some Catholic priests that led them to challenge the existing order of the Catholic Church and national governments. The study of the biblical liberation also led to the need for liberation from western theological categories by the development of a Maya Christian theology based on the Maya wisdom of ancestors manifested in the many myths of the Maya tradition.

Keywords: Maya; Catholic; worldview; theology; bible and liberation; social justice; inculturation of Christianity; Chiapas, Mexico; Guatemala

Book.  512 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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Table of Contents

The Research in Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

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Long-Standing Strains within Maya Communities in Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

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The Maya Crisis and the Search for Answers in Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

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Worldview of Tridentine Catholicism in Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

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