César Chávez and Mexican American Civil Religion

LuíS D. León

in Latino Religions and Civic Activism in the United States

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780195162271
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850365 | DOI:
César Chávez and Mexican American Civil Religion

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This chapter suggests that César Chávez quite intentionally manipulated, invented, and recast religious symbols to further his political and social aims. This is not to say that Chávez took a utilitarian view of religion. To the contrary, he was a deeply spiritual person whose long fasts, prayer vigils, and pilgrimages were as sincere as they were powerful. However, his religious identity was much more complex and riddled with more ambiguity than most realize. In many respects, Chávez functioned like a Weberian prophet who was able to “infuse” an ostensibly secular political struggle with ultimate value and sacred meaning.

Keywords: social activists; religion; religious identity; Latinos; César Chávez

Chapter.  5153 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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