Call Number:
C267.242789 P966sac
Publisher, Date:
Washington, DC : Smithsonian Institution Press, c2000.
xx, 108 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 101-106) and index.
Haciendo Penitencia: Caridad, Oración, y el buen ejemplo -- Risking it all for civilization -- Storytelling, sacredness, truth, and power -- The story of Penitente spirituality as practical Christianity -- The story of popular religious expression in Hispano/Chicano religions.
1560989742 (alk. paper)
1560983949 (pbk. : alk. paper)
Where Is It?
On the isolated frontiers of the Spanish empire, Catholicism flourished with little direction or support from the centers of colonial power in Mexico. Hispano Catholics in the Southwest fashioned a self-reliant, lay religion that was intimately connected to their everyday experiences. From this tradition emerged Los Hermanos Penitentes of New Mexico, a brotherhood that has led Hispano communities both in worship and in practical measures -- such as collective irrigation and harvest -- since the end of eighteenth century. Yet in accounts that range from nineteenth-century pastoral letters to sensational mid-twentieth-century magazine "exposes", the brotherhood has been cast as a group of religious primitives who practice self-flagellation and other bizarre rituals. Drawing on seven years of research and extensive interviews with several penitentes, Alberto Lopez Pulido focuses on their core religious concept of doing penance through charity, prayer, and the good example. He explains that for the penitentes, prayer is a form of action and acts of charity are tantamount to prayer -- and that both provide good examples to the brotherhood and the community at large. Lopez Pulido argues that such teachings, which have flourished outside the boundaries of institutional Catholicism, should be seen as creative, practical, and lived religious expression rather than as deviancy. Allowing penitentes' oral histories to reveal their views of the sacred, Lopez Pulido shows how the brotherhood's practices have continued to maintain community identity and purpose throughout northern New Mexico.
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