Re-Enchanting the World
Maya Protestantism in the Guatemalan Highlands
Contemporary American Indian Studies
256 Pages, 6.12 x 9.00 x 0.60 in, 21 illustrations
- Published: July 2007
- Published: April 2011
Christian evangelicals among native people in Latin America.
What does it mean to be both Maya and Protestant in Guatemala? Burgeoning religious pluralism in Mesoamerica and throughout Latin America is evident as Protestantism permeates a region that had been overwhelmingly Catholic for nearly five centuries.
In considering the interplay between contemporary Protestant practice and native cultural traditions among Maya evangelicals, Samson documents the processes whereby some Maya have converted to new forms of Christianity and the ways in which the Maya are incorporating Christianity for their own purposes. At the intersection of religion and cultural pluralism, contemporary evangelicals focus on easing the tension between Maya identity and the Protestant insistence that old ways must be left behind in the conversion process.
Against the backdrop of the 36-year civil war that ended in 1996 and the rise of the indigenous Maya Movement in the late 1980s, this work provides a unique portrait of social movements, cultural and human rights, and the role that religion plays in relation to the nation-state in post-conflict political processes. Re-enchanting the World fills a niche within the anthropological literature on evangelicals in Latin America during a time of significant social change.