Download City of God: Christian Citizenship in Postwar Guatemala by Kevin Lewis O'Neill PDF

By Kevin Lewis O'Neill

In Guatemala urban at the present time, Christianity is not only a trust system--it is a counterinsurgency. Amidst postwar efforts at democratization, multinational mega-churches have conquered road corners and kitchen tables, guiding the devoted to construct a sanctified urban brick by means of brick. Drawing on wealthy interviews and vast fieldwork, Kevin Lewis O'Neill tracks the tradition and politics of 1 such church, how neo-Pentecostal Christian practices became acts of citizenship in a brand new, politically correct period for Protestantism. concentrating on daily practices--praying for Guatemala, talking in tongues for the soul of the kingdom, organizing prayer campaigns to strive against exceptional degrees of crime--O'Neill reveals that Christian citizenship has re-politicized the trustworthy as they fight to appreciate what it potential to be a believer in a desperately violent critical American urban. leading edge, creative, conceptually wealthy, City of God reaches throughout disciplinary borders because it illuminates the hugely charged, evolving dating among faith, democracy, and the nation in Latin America.

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Additional info for City of God: Christian Citizenship in Postwar Guatemala

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The battle between the government and the guerrillas was at first articulated through the language of class conflict. In the 1960s, however, ladinos recruited Maya communities an introduction 17 ONeill_Intro 7/27/09 1:50 PM Page 18 through a narrative that included ethnicity and also emphasized Guatemala’s fight for freedom of organization, land rights, and democracy. The government’s response to these demands was absolutely brutal, especially between 1978 and 1982. 25 Global awareness of such systematic, large-scale human rights violations forced the Guatemalan government by the mid-1980s to adjust its tactics so that it could continue receiving international aid.

As Victoria Sanford reports: “Between 2001 and 2006, while the female population [in Guatemala] increased by eight percent, the female homicide rate increased by more than 117 percent” (2008, 21). In Guatemala City the problem has proven more pronounced; hundreds of women have become the victims of gender-based violence, such as brutal sexual assaults, torture, and rape— all with near absolute impunity. According to Amnesty International (2006), only fifteen murders of women resulted in convictions between 2002 and 2004, and of the some six hundred women murdered in 2005, only two cases resulted in convictions.

It is an ethnography of a prominent neoPentecostal mega-church, and of the faithful who work tirelessly to carve out for themselves (and for their nation) what it means to live a good Christian life in a complicated world. At the same time, it is also, necessarily, a study of the city in which this moral drama takes place—the increasingly poor, multiethnic, and exceedingly dangerous zonas of postwar Guatemala City. And, finally, at its most theoretical, this book is an extended argument about the relationship between Christianity and citizenship.

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