La Hermandad de Sangre de Cristo: Church, Community, and Change in New Mexico: 1848-1912

Eloy J Garcia, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

My dissertation provides a critical review of religious imperialism and how it affected the Spanish speaking Catholic people of New Mexico following the U.S. invasion of 1846. It does so by exploring New Mexico’s unique early nineteenth century Catholic religiosity led by the Hermandad de Sangre de Cristo (Brotherhood of the Blood of Christ), a lay organization more pejoratively known as Los Penitentes. It examines their struggles to adapt to the changing circumstances brought on by institutional racism of the Territorial Period, Protestantism, and a more vigilant institutional Catholic Church imposed from the U.S. Diocese of Baltimore. I argue that the collective memory of the Spanish speaking Catholic people of New Mexico – in regards to the Hermandad and their traditional socio-religious practices – became so distorted by the work of the institutional Church that by the twentieth century membership in the organization diminished dramatically. Membership in the Hermandad began to be associated with “bad men,” and nuevomexicanos became embarrassed of the Brotherhood resulting in the eventual dissipation of their traditional Christian practices.^

Subject Area

Religious history|Ethnic studies|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Garcia, Eloy J, "La Hermandad de Sangre de Cristo: Church, Community, and Change in New Mexico: 1848-1912" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10279404.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI10279404

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