Patriarchy and Hispano-Catholicism in New Mexico
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Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Number of Pages: 280
Width: 15.2 cm
Height: 22.9 cm
The Penitente brotherhood of New Mexico soared in popularity during the early nineteenth century. Local chapters of the brotherhood, always exclusively male, met in specially constructed buildings (called moradas) to conduct their business and engaged in a variety of religious rituals, including flagellation. The traditional view, still very much accepted, is that Penitente spirituality was a continuation of pietistic practices brought to the New World from Spain by Franciscan missionaries in the sixteenth century. In this book sociologist of religion Michael Carroll argues that the movement in factdeveloped much later. There is in fact little evidence that Hispanos in pre-1770 New Mexico were particularly religious, and indeed the usual hallmarks of popular Catholicism -such as apparitions, cults organized around miraculous images, or pilgrimage-are noticeable by their absence. Carroll traces the rise of the Penitentes to social changes, including the Bourbon reforms, that undermined patriarchal authority and thereby threatened a system that was central to the social organization of late colonial New Mexico. Once established, the Penitentes came to incorporate a number of organizational elements not found in traditional confraternities. As a result, Carroll concludes, Penitente membership facilitated the "rise of the modern" in New Mexico and-however unintentionally-made it that much easier, after the territory's annexation by the United States, for the Anglo legal system to dispossess Hispanos of their land.
A richly circumstantial, well-presented, and interesting account of the New Mexico Penitentes... The Penitente Brotherhood offers readers looking for a historical introduction to this Hispanic confraternity a generous account... I highly recommend reading the book. -- Roy R. Barkley Catholic Southwest 2004 In the popular mind, the Penitentes are a late medieval revival and a quaint and irrelevant example of popular religiosity. For anyone who wants to know the real story, this controversial book-with the hallmarks of academic scholarship and the narrative line of a novel-might fit the bill. Catholic Library World 2004 Carroll's multifaceted recounting of Hispano Catholicism in historic New Mexico is well written and compelling. Contemporary Sociology A gifted, lucid writer and a great narrator of fiction... Carroll's approach refreshes the literature. -- Michelle Madsen Camacho Catholic Historical Review 2007 Carroll is a storyteller... He creates a convincing narrative from the primary sources and the logic of scientific theory available to him. -- Christopher Vecsey Church History 2007 A book that requires a careful read in order to acknowledge its full impact... It raises new issues and perspectives that future Penitente scholarship will have to address as we struggle to interpret this critical history. -- Alberto Lopez Pulido Studies in Religion / Sciences Religieuses 2007 Innovative and lasting contributions. -- Enrique R. Lamadrid Sociology of Religion 2007