Accepted Papers:

Class and religion in Tapatian society: the case of San Nicolas de Bari's shrine in Guadalajara, Mexico  


Alejandra Aguilar Ros (CIESAS (Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social))

Paper Short Abstract:

The paper will deal with the role of religious practices in the narratives of elite groups attending to a shrine in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Paper long abstract:

In Mexico, the study of religious beliefs has mainly concentrated within what in Latin America has been labelled as "popular religion". The term has mainly described how certain devotional customs such as attendance to shrines that are practiced mainly among marginal groups, are in plain confrontation with ecclesiastical authorities.

In this paper I will like to present the religious narratives of upper middle and high class devotees to San Nicolas de Bari in Guadalajara, a shrine located in an urban residential neighbourhood. The shrine is the focus of attendance of at least 5000 people every week on Mondays, to fulfill a three Monday devotion to Saint Nicholas. Devotees ask particularly for progress in their business, for protection of their wealth and families, and health issues. The paper will present interviews with devotees and ecclesiastical authorities to gain understanding on how religion shapes views of class identity and differentiation in Tapatian's views (Guadalajara's dwellers)

The case is interesting because devotees belong to privileged classes, which not only problematizes "popular religion" but also shows how religion is one of the main shapers in class categories.

panel P24
Cultural and political praxes, ideas and subjectivities in the Latin American upper classes