Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

Synopsis

In his most recent book, The Maya and Catholicism: An Encounter of Worldviews, John Early examined the relationship between the Maya and the Catholic Church from the sixteenth century through the colonial and early national periods. In Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis, he returns to delve into the changing worldviews of these two groups in the second half of the twentieth century--a period of great turmoil for both.
Drawing on his personal experiences as a graduate student, a Roman Catholic priest in the region and his extensive archival research, Early constructs detailed case histories of the Maya uprisings against the governments of Guatemala and Mexico, exploring Liberation Catholicism's integral role in these rebellions as well as in the evolutions of Maya and Catholic theologies. His meticulous and insightful study is indispensable to understanding Maya politics, society, and religion in the late twentieth century.

Excerpt

In 2006 I published The Maya and Catholicism: An Encounter of Worldviews. That work began with the Spanish evangelization of the Maya in the sixteenth century and ended with a description of the results of the Catholic efforts to convert the Maya during the colonial and early national periods. This book is a sequel to that work. It adds some material about the colonial and national periods as background for the interaction of the worldviews from about the middle to the end of the twentieth century. I have attempted to make this work stand by itself, but I strongly urge the reader to consult the previous volume for the background of this volume. Chapter 2 about the Maya worldview, is a revision of chapter 5 of the previous volume.

The writer wishes to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of the following experts on the various topics covered in the chapters. Without their help, this book could not have been written. the following people read earlier versions of the entire manuscript and made many helpful suggestions: Allen Christenson; Christine Eber; Christine Gudorf; Christopher Lutz; Brent Metz; Judith Maxwell; Norman Schwartz; and James Walsh, sj. Others commented on parts of the manuscript pertinent to their specializations and/or furnished research materials: Garrett Cook; Ricardo Falla, SJ; Christine Kovic; Thomas and Marjorie Melville; Heidi Moksnes; Elizabeth Nick; Thomas Stafford; David Stoll; Kay Warren; John Womack; and Alexander Zatyrka, sj. I am grateful for their help, but responsibility for the final product is mine alone.

The maps are the work of Clifford Brown. Duncan Earle furnished the introductory photographs to chapters 17, 18, and 19; Jeanne Simonelli those for chapters 20 and 21. Thomas and Marjorie Melville furnished the introductory photographs to chapters 22, 26, and figures 22.1, 22.2. Allen Christenson furnished those for chapter 23 and figures 23.1, 23.2, and 23.3; Ricardo Falla for figure 24.1; and María Pilar de Hoyos de Asig for chapter 25 and figure 25.1. I took all the remaining photographs and did all translations from the Spanish. Biblical translations are from the Standard Edition of the New Jerusalem Bible. At times the text makes temporal references with the words “currently,” “contemporary,” or similar designations. For any future readers, they usually refer to the years 2000 to 2010.

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