A New Catechism for Recalcitrant Indians

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Fondo de Cultura Económica, Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas, 2007 - 177 páginas
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Carlos Monsivis (1938), writer and literary critic, is an indispensable figure in the Mexican literary tradition of the second half of the twentieth century. He lays out in New Cathecism of Recalcitrant Indians a demonstration of his lucid and powerful style. The present volume could be taken as a mere selection of short stories based in the principles of Christianity. However, it is a harsh criticism to what Christianity conveys: subordination and submission of con-fronted ideologies. The book strongly questions the categorization of ideas and the racism that came up when, as Monsivis states, the true religion and nauseous idolatries were established in Mexico. This fable deals with the topic of power over religious beliefs. It presents the conflict between the pagan Indians and their counterpart, the friars, humorously portraying the ways in which religion monopolizes faith. Monsivis ridicules with brilliant irony the vices, abuses, contradictions, and hypocrisies of those who profess the sacred values of the church.

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Jeff Browitt is Head of Latin American Studies in the Institute of International Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

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