Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis
John D. Early
"While this book explains what brought about the Maya uprisings in Chiapas and Guatemala and answers questions about the role of the Catholic Church in the development of the uprisings, the heart of the book is about the Mayan quest to live with dignity as Maya in the modern world."--Christine Gudorf, author of Catholic Social Teaching on Liberation Themes
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.
John D. Early, professor emeritus of anthropology at Florida Atlantic University, is the author of The Maya and Catholicism and coauthor of several books, including The Xilixana Yanomami of the Amazon.
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Early, a former Catholic priest himself, brings to his long account an insider's eye for the Catholic side of the story and for the personalities and careers of priests who struggled for decades to both reform Catholicism and find ways to empower Mayan Christians.
Early does an admirable job synthesizing the complicated history of how Maya and Catholic worldviews have overlapped, converged, and been in tension with each other, and even those well-versed on the subject will find new information or perspectives that makes this book a welcome new source.
Wide ranging, well informed, and even-handed.
Early constructs detailed case histories of the Maya uprisings against the governments of Guatemala and Mexico. . . . His meticulous and insightful study is indispensable to understanding Maya politics, society, and religion in the late twentieth century.
--Anthropology and Mission
A significant achievement that will serve anthropologists, church historians, missiologists, and others who understand that theory risks sterility without local knowledge, amply displayed here.
--Catholic Historical Review