Hispanic Baroque

Prof. Kristin Norget

Department of Anthropology | McGill University

Leacock Building, Room 715 
855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 2T7, Canada

(514) 398-6657 | e-mail

My research of the last decade or so has dealt with cultural and symbolic dimensions of religious belief, practice and performance in contemporary Mexico, focused on the southern state of Oaxaca (and esp. in Oaxaca City), where popular religiosity encompasses an ever-changing amalgam of elements from both indigenous “traditional” cultures and more orthodox Catholicism. This has required me to explore the nature of religious syncretism, hybridization (and kinds of ‘cultural mixing’ more generally) in connection with the history in southern Mexico of religious contact, conflict, and conversion, and processes of identity formation. My most recent research project examines, in various regions in Mexico, “indigenous theology” (teología indígena or teología India)—a philosophy or praxis initiated by both conservative and liberationist wings of the Catholic Church which advocates the concerted syncretism of Roman Catholicism and indigenous religions. I will be traveling to Oaxaca this September to undertake ten months of research and writing related to this project; this will also be an opportune time, in connection with the Baroque project, to research more extensively the formation of the substance of indigenous religiosity in rural contexts, and through the colonial and independence periods.