Wednesday, December 23, 2020

"New Faces of God in Latin America"

New from Oxford University Press: New Faces of God in Latin America: Emerging Forms of Vernacular Christianity by Virginia Garrard.

About the book, from the publisher:
Combining historical and ethnographic research methods, along with a thorough review of existing literature on the study of Latin American Christianity, New Faces of God in Latin America addresses the important question of how global religion and local culture interact, situating the experience of Latin American Christianity in the broader conversations in the field of world Christianity, particularly with respect to the growing understanding of Christianity as a non-Western religion. Through case studies of different Pentecostal experiences in Latin America, Virginia Garrard explores cross-pollination and interaction with indigenous religions and cultures, finding widely varied responses to the material and spiritual needs of Latin Americans.

The author locates Latin American religious experience within a field known as the "history of non-Western Christianity." This focuses on the experience, perceptions, and adaptations of those who adopt Christianity outside the context of Western missionary or other colonizing projects. The book engages with the intersection of culture and spirit-filled religion, with an eye to how those interactions help frame an alternative religious modernity. Throughout the book, the author uses culture as both a heuristic lens and as a variable within the equation. She argues that culture helps us understand how people engage with and reconfigure global religious flows within their own imaginations and for their own parochial uses.
--Marshal Zeringue