Crosscurrents in Indigenous Spirituality: Interface of Maya, Catholic, and Protestant Worldviews

Article excerpt

Edited by Guillermo Cook. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1997. Pp. xvi, 329. $103.

This timely book edited by Guillermo Cook is intended to encourage reflection on a relevant Mayan spirituality, which could promote the revitalization of ministries of both Catholic and Protestant churches and missionaries. It will be especially valuable to those who are involved in indigenous areas of Latin America.

The book offers a new awareness of the spectacular Mayan civilization, which is still a vibrant culture today. More than eighteen different writers attempt to expose us to the voices of present indigenous Christian leaders who are speaking up for their rights in the Christian church, in evangelization, in indigenous theology, as well as in their social-political spheres. The clash of cultures, the resilience of the Mayan cultures, the rise of indigenous theology, and the search to return to Mayan indigenous roots are themes that help us analyze the cultural values that are reflected in the Mayan spiritual worldview.

A valuable contribution of the book is the revelation that the Maya worshiped one creator god before being corrupted by the invasions of non-Mayan indigenous groups. The subsequent Spanish conquest and Roman Catholic domination in the 1500s further added to the corruption of indigenous values and spiritual worldview. …