Catholic priest and social critic Ivan Illich shaped a generation of scholars and Catholic clergy who studied Spanish language and Latin American culture at the Centro Intercultural de Documentación (CIDOC) in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Operating from 1961 to 1976, the center initially offered language classes targeted at clergy preparing for missionary assignments. By the mid-1960s, CIDOC also offered an open university with class themes including history, philosophy, religion, and social work. A respected alternative research center and a publisher of journals, CIDOC housed an often more complete collection than professional libraries.

CIDOC was a space where clergy, activists, and intellectuals could meet up and discuss new approaches toward social justice issues in post–Vatican II Latin America. While the lectures, seminars, and gatherings at this center and its counterpart in Brazil provided an atmosphere for bishops such as Gustavo Gutiérrez to develop liberation theology,...

You do not currently have access to this content.