Mexico's Spiritual Reconquest brings to life a classically misunderstood pícaro: liberal soldier turned Catholic priest and revolutionary antipope, "Patriarch" Joaquín Pérez. Historian Matthew Butler weaves Pérez's controversial life story into a larger narrative about the relationship between religion, the state, and indigeneity in twentieth-century Mexico. Mexico's Spiritual Reconquest is at once the history of an indigenous reformation and a deeply researched, beautifully written exploration of what can happen when revolutions try to assimilate powerful religious institutions and groups. The book challenges historians to reshape baseline assumptions about modern Mexico in order to see a revolutionary state that was deeply vested in religion and a Cristero War that was, in reality, a culture clash between Catholics.
Matthew Butler is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Popular Piety and Political Identity in Mexico's Cristero Rebellion: Michoacán, 1927-29.
"In this first-ever study in English of the pro-revolutionary Mexican Catholic and Apostolic Church and the patriarch who led it, Matthew Butler offers readers a fascinating reconceptualization of popular, indigenous, and revolutionary religiosity in Mexico during the first half of the twentieth century. In his tremendously rich and detailed book, Butler reveals that Mexico was not simply a Catholic country but was instead a country of 'competing Catholicisms.'"--Julia G. Young, author of Mexican Exodus: Emigrants, Exiles, and Refugees of the Cristero War
"Mexico's Spiritual Reconquest radically reshapes our understanding of this long-ignored (or actively misrepresented) independent Catholic church."--Ben Fallaw, author of Religion and State Formation in Postrevolutionary Mexico
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments
Introduction Chapter One. Habemus Pérez, 1925 Chapter Two. "Mexico's Newest Revolution": ICAM Chapter Three. The Other Cristiada: Pérez's Second Coming Chapter Four. "Our Beloved Peasants": ICAM on the Ejido Chapter Five. "Acá todo es vida": ICAM as Local Religion Chapter Six. Bronze Priests: Mexican Revolutionary Clergy Conclusion. Pérez Is Dead, VivaPérez