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HUMSS - Gema Kloppe-Santamaria

Prof. Gema Kloppe-Santamaría 

Loyola University Chicago

In the Name of Christ: Towards A History of Religious Violence in Twentieth-Century Mexico
When Nov 08, 2021
from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where Seminar room
Contact Name
Attendees Universitätsoffen / open to university members
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In the Name of Christ: Towards A History of Religious Violence in Twentieth-Century Mexico


In this talk, I will explore the political and cultural drivers that contributed to shaping Catholics’ understanding of violence as a legitimate means to defend their religious practices and beliefs in twentieth-century Mexico. In particular, I will focus on the 1930s, a decade marked by the end of the Cristero War (1927-1929) - Mexico’s armed conflict over the religious question - and the so-called détente between the Mexican state and the Catholic Church. Despite the Church’s official rejection of the use of violence amongst the faithful, during this period Catholics continued to engage in belligerent and violent forms of religious militancy in the name of Christ and religious freedom. This, I argue, reflects the weight that non-canonical and popular understandings of martyrdom, sacrifice, and redemptive violence, had in Catholics’ exercise of religion during this and consecutive decades. Catholics’ aggressive defense of religious symbols and places, together with their attacks against individuals perceived as “polluting” or “impious,” further show that moral and symbolic considerations were deeply intertwined with uncompromising political ideologies and long-term intra-community conflicts.  


The event is scheduled as a face-to-face event in compliance with 3G rules and the university's Corona regulations. Participants must be either fully vaccinated, tested (PCR-Test not older than 48h) or recovered. The terms of attendance may be subject to change depending on current regulations