Ever since the liberal triumph in the mid-nineteenth-century War of the Reforma, Mexican Catholics have had a difficult time imagining themselves as full members of the nation: just as church and state are supposed to be independent from each other, citizenship and religious militancy have been understood as two radically different expressions of personal and collective identity, impossible to mix at the same time. If religion belongs to a premodern world of miraculous virgins, pious devotion, and controlling priests, citizenship refers to modern actors debating flesh-and-bone issues in the public square (or so the Mexican narrative of secularization goes). Robert Curley's outstanding book shows that, during the first three decades of the twentieth century, the Catholic population of the state of Jalisco fully participated in the country's political transformation as both modern and religious actors, as citizens and believers. They were not...

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