After more than 500 years of marginalization, Latin America’s forty million Indians have recently made major strides in gaining political recognition and civil rights. In this book, social scientists explore the important role of religion in indigenous activism, showing the ways that religion has strengthened indigenous identity and contributed to the struggle for indigenous rights in the region.
Drawing on case studies from Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Mexico, the contributors explore four key questions. How have traditional religions interacted with Christianity to produce new practices and beliefs? What resources, motivations, and ideological legitimacies do religious institutions provide for indigenous social movements? How effective are these movements in achieving their goals? Finally, as new religious groups continue to compete for adherents in the region, how will individuals’ religious choices affect political outcomes?
Resurgent Voices in Latin America offers new insight into the dynamics of indigenous social movements and into the complex and changing world of Latin American religions. The essays show that religious beliefs, practices, and institutions have both affected and been affected by political activism.