04 August 2011

Latino and Latina Religious Landscape, Religion and Spirituality in the Latino and Latina Context, Relational Character

Religion and Spirituality: Latino and Latina Religious Landscape, Religion and Spirituality in the Latino and Latina Context, Relational Character, by Socorro Castañeda-Liles

Excerpts:
The belief that all U.S. Latinos and Latinas are Catholic is a popular misconception. Although the Spanish conquest of the Americas did produce a large Catholic population among Latino and Latina ethnic groups, a diverse and permeable religion and spirituality characterize life among those groups. That permeability is born of an integration (rather than a fragmentation) of beliefs that are then expressed in rituals and customs. In César Chávez and Dolores Huerta's decision to carry the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on a banner into the streets during the United Farm Workers (UFW) strike against unjust grape growers in the 1960s, and in the custom of hanging rosaries from rear-view mirrors, we see examples of how religion and spirituality shape the ways in which Latinos and Latinas approach, perceive, and respond to life situations. This does not mean, of course, that all Latinos and Latinas are equally religious or spiritual. Rather, it indicates that Latinos and Latinas creatively weave religion and spirituality into the fabric of their daily lives.

Latino and Latina communities comprise Catholics, Protestants, Espiritistas, Espiritualistas, and Santeros, among other faith traditions, all of them living in a creative interaction with one another. It is not unusual for a Mexican Catholic to attend Mass on Sunday morning and later that same day consult with a Santera or Santero or with an Espiritista about a particular matter. It is not uncommon for a Protestant to possess an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is not out of the ordinary to meet a Puerto Rican Guadalupan (a devotee of Our Lady of Guadalupe). Religion and spirituality among U.S. Latinos and Latinas form a colorful tapestry woven from diverse, yet related, cultural and ethnic ways of understanding and coming into a relationship with the sacred. Thus, to suppose that all Mexicans are Catholic, that Protestant Latinos and Latinas do not venerate symbols like Our Lady of Guadalupe, or that all Caribbean Latinos and Latinas practice only Santería or Espiritismo is inaccurate.
Link: Religion and Spirituality: Latino and Latina Religious Landscape, Religion and Spirituality in the Latino and Latina Context, Relational Character


0 comments: