To Endure or Ignore?

Two Priests’ Responses to Hierarchical Discipline in a Guatemalan Religious Field

Authors

  • C. James MacKenzie University of Lethbridge

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v5i3.317

Keywords:

networks, hierarchy, inculturation, charismatic Catholicism, Maya

Abstract

In the context of an increasingly centrist hierarchy, the fate of various progressive Catholic post-Vatican II evangelizing movements is unclear. I consider here how two progressive priests in Guatemala have dealt with hierarchical discipline. I examine the role of these priests and their superiors in a vertically and horizontally structured religious field. While one priest, a proponent of Charismatic Catholicism, feels alienated from the hierarchy and his congregation and imagines alternatives in terms of schism, the other, a proponent of inculturation theology, found practical freedom from both grassroots and hierarchy through the development of networks, which I analyze using models derived from Castells. Together, these cases demonstrate how religious power, while strongly centralized in the context of the Catholic Church, can adapt—if imperfectly—to different organizational structures simultaneously.

Author Biography

C. James MacKenzie, University of Lethbridge

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

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Published

2011-12-22

How to Cite

MacKenzie, C. J. (2011). To Endure or Ignore? Two Priests’ Responses to Hierarchical Discipline in a Guatemalan Religious Field. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 5(3), 317–336. https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v5i3.317

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