As a universal religion, Catholicism is inherently transnational. Yet beliefs and practices also arise from regional histories. This volume seeks to apprehend this dual quality with chapters that examine how Catholic activists addressed local and national problems by drawing on theological tenets and church networks. Substituting nuance for simplifying dichotomies and surprisingly durable caricatures, Local Church, Global Church moves forward the field of religious history in Latin America by exploring a variety of ideological, theological, and practical approaches that informed activism. Although not all chapters privilege the transnational, they do explore, at least implicitly, the tension between universal teachings and particular political and social dynamics.

Organized into thematic sections (on Vatican policies and local actions, church-state conflict in Mexico, student movements, and efforts to ameliorate poverty and disempowerment among workers and peasants), the chapters cover Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, and Colombia and concentrate...

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