Chicano Catholicism-both as a popular religion and a foundation
for community organizing-has, over the past century, inspired
Chicano resistance to external forces of oppression and
discrimination including from other non-Mexican Catholics and even
the institutionalized church. Chicano Catholics have also used
their faith to assert their particular identity and establish a
kind of cultural citizenship.
Based exclusively on original research and sources, Mario T.
García here offers the first major historical study to explore the
various dimensions of the role of Catholicism in Chicano history in
the twentieth century. This is also one of the first significant
studies in the still limited field of Chicano religious
Topics range from how early Chicano Catholic intellectuals and
civil rights leaders were influenced by Catholic Social Doctrine,
to the role that popular religion has played in the lives of
ordinary men and women in both rural and urban areas. García also
examines faith-based Chicano community movements like Católicos Por
La Raza in the 1960s and the Sanctuary movement in Los Angeles in
While Latino/a history and culture has been, for the most part,
inextricably linked with the tenets and practices of Catholicism,
there has been very little written, until recently, about Chicano
Catholic history. García helps to fill that void and explore the
impact-both positive and negative-that the Catholic experience has
had on the Chicano community.
Subjects: Religion, Sociology
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