Popes, Saints, Beato Bones and other Images at War

Religious Mediation and the Translocal Roman Catholic Church

Authors

  • Kristin Norget McGill University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v5i3.337

Keywords:

Catholic Church, Mexico, Oaxaca, saints, politics, religion, images, mediation, translocalism

Abstract

This article explores new political practices of the Roman Catholic Church by means of a close critical examination of the beatification of the Martyrs of Cajonos, two indigenous men from the Mexican village of San Francisco Cajonos, Oaxaca, in 2002. The Church’s new strategy to promote an upsurge in canonizations and beatifications forms part of a “war of images,” in Serge Gruzinski’s terms, deployed to maintain apparently peripheral populations within the Church’s central paternalistic fold of social and moral authority and influence, while at the same time as it must be seen to remain open to local cultures and realities. In Oaxaca and elsewhere, this ecclesiastical technique of “emplacement” may be understood as an attempt to engage indigenous-popular religious sensibilities and devotion to sacred images while at the same time implicitly trying to contain them, weaving their distinct local historical threads seamlessly into the fabric of a global Catholic history.

Author Biography

Kristin Norget, McGill University

Associate Professor, Anthropology

References

Allen Jr., John L. 2002. “Inculturation in Papal Masses: Maciel gets a front-row seat; next, Poland and Saint Faustina.” National Catholic Reporter. August 9. http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/word0809.htm. Accessed March 9, 2010.

———. 2004. All the Pope’s Men: The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks. New York: Doubleday.

Angrosino, M.V. 1994. “The Culture Concept and the Mission of the Catholic Church.” American Anthropologist 96: 824–832. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.1994.96.4.02a00050

Austin-Broos, Diane. 2001. “Jamaican Pentecostalism: Transnational Relations and the Nation-State.” In Between Babel and Pentecost: Transnational Pentecostalism in Latin America and Africa, edited by A Corten and R. Marshall-Fratani, 142–162. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Bantjes, Adrian. 2007. “Religion and the Mexican Revolution: Toward a New Historiography.” In Religious Culture in Modern Mexico, edited by Martin Austin Nesvig, 223–254. Lanham, MD: Roman and Littlefield.

Barabas, Alicia. 2006. Dones, Dueños y santos: ensayos sobre religions en Oaxaca. México, D.F.: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia: Miguel Angel Porrúa.

Beatty, Andrew. 2006. “The Pope in Mexico: Syncretism in Public Ritual.” American Anthropologist 108: 324–335. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.2006.108.2.324

Boss, Julia. 2003. “Writing a Relic: The Uses of Hagiography in New France.” In Colonial Saints, edited by Allan Greer and Jodi Bilinkoff, 211–233. New York: Routledge Falmer.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1971. “Genèse et structure du champ religieux.” Revue française de soci-ologie 12: 295–334. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3320234

Casanova, José. 2008. “Public Religions Revisited.” In Religion: Beyond a Concept, edited by Hent de Vries, 101–119. New York: Fordham University Press.

Casanova, José. 1994. Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

———. 1997. “Globalizing Catholicism and the Return to a ‘Universal’ Church.” In Transnational Religion and Fading States, edited by Suzanne Hoeber Rudolph and James Piscatori, 121–143. Boulder, CO: Westview.

———. 2001. “Religion, the New Millennium, and Globalization.” Sociology of Religion 62: 415–441. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3712434

Catholic News Agency. 2005. “Newly Announced Mexican Martyrs Faced Death to Defend Christian Faith, says Pope.” November 21: http://www.catholicnews-agency.com/news/newly_announced_mexican_martyrs_faced_death_to_defend_christian_faith_says_pope/

CBC News. 2011. “The Road to Catholic Sainthood, a Miracle at a Time.” January 14: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/01/14/f-religion-catholic-saint.html.

Chance, John K. 1989. Conquest of the Sierra: Spaniards and Indians in Colonial Oaxaca. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

Christian, William A. 1989. Local Religion in Sixteenth-Century Spain. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Coleman, Simon. 2000. The Globalisation of Charismatic Christianity: Spreading the Gospel of Prosperity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511488221

Correa, Guillermo and Rodrigo Vera. 2002. “Indiferencia Indígena.” Proceso. July 28.

Csordas, Thomas. 2007. “Global Religion and the Reenchantment of the World: The Case of the Charismatic Catholic Renewal.” Anthropological Theory 7: 295–314. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1463499607080192

———. 2009. “Introduction: Modalities of Transnational Transcendence.” In Transnational Transcendence, edited by T. Csordas, 1–29. Berkeley: University of California Press.

De Theije, Marjo and Ceclia Mariz. 2008. “Localizing and Globalizing Processes in Brazilian Catholicism.” Latin American Research Review 43: 33–53.

De Vries, Hent and Samuel Weber. 2001. Religion and Media. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Engelke, Matthew. 2010. “Religion and the Media Turn: A Review Essay.” American Ethnologist 37: 371-379. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1425.2010.01261.x

Esparza, Manuel. 2001. Opcion Preferencial: Periodismo Crítico. México: Carteles Editores.

Gillow, Eulogio. 1990 [1889] Apuntes Históricos por el ilustrísimo y reverendisimo Eulogio G. Gillow, Obispo de Antequera, Diócesis de Oaxaca. Copy of the original edition pub¬lished by Sagrada Corazón de Jesús, México, Ediciones Toledo.

Gruzinski, Serge. 2001. Images at War: Mexico from Columbus to Blade Runner. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. 2000. Empire. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Henderson, Stephen. 2002. “Mexican Martyrs to Be Beatified.” Los Angeles Times, July 27.

Hirschkind, Charles and Brian Larkin. 2008. “Introduction: Media and the Political Forms of Religion.” Social Text 96: 1–9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/01642472-2000-001

Jacka, Jerry. 2005. “Emplacement and Millennial Expectations in an Era of Development and Globalization: Heaven and the Appeal of Christianity for the Ipili.” American Anthropologist 107: 643–653. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.2005.107.4.643

Jenkins, Philip. 2007. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, rev. and exp. version. New York: Oxford University Press.

Jimenez, José Antonio. 2002. “Pope to Beatify Indian Martyrs.” Associated Press. July 31. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-54804937.html

“Juan Bautista y Jacinto de los Angeles.” 2002. Vatican News Services, August 1. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20020801_los-ange¬les_sp.html

Keane, Webb. 2007. Christian Moderns: Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Kselman, Thomas. 1983. Miracles and Prophecies in Nineteenth-Century France. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Latour, Bruno. 1993. We Have Never Been Modern. Translated by Catherine Porter. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Lehmann, David. 1998. “Fundamentalism and Globalism.” Third World Quarterly 19: 607–631. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436599814163

Marini, Piero. 2002. “Viaje Apostólico del Santo Padre a Guatemala y México.” Vatican News Service, July 29: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/2002/docu-ments/ns_lit_doc_20020729_guatemala-mexico_sp.html.

Marroquín, Enrique. 2007. El Conflicto Religioso: Oaxaca 1976–1992. Universidad Autónoma de México. Centro de Investigaciones Interdisciplinares en Ciencias y Humanidades. Universidad Autónoma “Benito Juárez” de Oaxaca. Instituto de Investigaciones Sociológicas. Colección Alternativas, México.

Medina Villegas, Humberto. 2002. Mártires de Cajonos: Juan Bautista y Jacinto de los Angeles, Historia de Vida. Carteles Editores.

Meyer, Birgit. 2008. “Why Media, Aesthetics and Power Matter in the Study of Contemporary Religion.” In Religion: Beyond a Concept, edited by Hent de Vries, 704–723. New York: Fordham University Press.

Morgan, David. 1998. Visual Piety: A History and Theory of Popular Religious Images. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Napolitano, Valentina. 2002. Migration, Mujercitas and Medicine Men. Berkeley: University of California Press.

———. 2007. “Of Migrant Revelations and Anthropological Awakenings.” Social Anthropology 15: 1–17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8676.2007.00005.x

Norget, Kristin. 1997. “‘The Politics of ‘Liberation’: The Popular Church, Indigenous Theology, and Popular Mobilization in Oaxaca, Mexico.” Latin American Perspectives 96: 96–127. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0094582X9702400506

———. 2004. “‘Knowing Where We Enter’: Indigenous Theology and the Catholic Church in Oaxaca, México.” In Resurgent Voice in Latin America: Indigenous Peoples, Political Mobilization, and Religious Change, edited by Edward Cleary and Tim Steigenga, 154–186. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

———. 2006. Days of Death, Days of Life: Ritual in the Popular Culture of Oaxaca. New York: Columbia University Press.

———. 2009. “Hard Habits to Baroque: Catholic Church and Popular-Indigenous Religious Dialogue in Oaxaca, Mexico.” Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos 33: 131–158.

———. 2011. “Surviving Conservation: La Madre Tierra and Indigenous Moral Ecologies in Oaxaca, Mexico.” In Nature, Science and Religion: New Intersections Shaping Society and the Environment, edited by C. Tucker. Santa Fe: School of American Research, forthcoming.

“Noticias 31-07-02.” 2002. ACI?Digital, July 31: http://www.aciprensa.com/notic2002/agosto/notic1620.htm.

Piazza, Rosalba. 2008. “Los ‘mártires’ de San Francisco Cajonos: Preguntas y respuestas ante los documentos de archivo.” Historia Mexicana 58(2): 657–751.

Pope John Paul II. 2002. Homily during the Beatification of the Martyrs of Cajonos, Basílica de Guadalupe, August 1. “Protesta por exclusión del obispo Lona de las actividades del Papa.” 2002. La Jornada, August 2.

Romero Frizzi, Angeles. 2004. “Introducción.” Los Documentos de San Francisco Cajonos, 9-19. Oaxaca: Archivo Histórico Judicial de Oaxaca.

Tsing, Anna. 2000. “The Global Situation.” Cultural Anthropology 15: 327–360. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/can.2000.15.3.327

———.2005. Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Varese, Stefano. 1996. “The Ethnopolitics of Indian Resistance in Latin America.” Latin American Perspectives 89: 58–71. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0094582X9602300204

Vásquez, Manuel A. 2003. “Theorizing Globalization and Religion.” In Globalizing the Sacred, edited by Manuel A. Vásquez, Marie F. Marquardt, 34–64. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Villamil, Jenaro. 2002. “Medios electronicos volvieron a promover el papacentrismo.” La Jornada, August 2.

Woodward, Kenneth L. 1990. Making Saints: How The Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes A Saint, Who Doesn’t, And Why. NY: Simon and Schuster.

Wright-Rios, Edward. 2009. Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Yannakakis, Yanna. 2008. The Art of Being In-Between: Native Intermediaries, Indian Identity, and Local Rule in Colonial Oaxaca. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Zaldivar, Sergio. 2002. “Los Beatos de Oaxaca.” Proceso, July 28, 62–63.

Published

2011-12-22

How to Cite

Norget, K. (2011). Popes, Saints, Beato Bones and other Images at War: Religious Mediation and the Translocal Roman Catholic Church. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 5(3), 337–364. https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v5i3.337

Issue

Section

Articles