Dr. Kathleen M. McIntyre
’s Protestantism and State Formation in Postrevolutionary Oaxaca
(University of New Mexico Press, 2019) explores the impact of Protestantism on Catholic indigenous communities in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca in the period directly following the Mexican Revolution 1910-1920. Dr. McIntyre’s work illustrates that conversion to Protestantism, while a very person choice, had real impacts on the social and political life of indigenous communities, whose identities were founded on an understanding that being a citizen of good standing meant acting in the community members’ collective best interests. Protestant converts often saw community traditions, such as the tequio
(collective service to the community), as well as other elements of local governance guided by centuries-old usos y costumbre
s (ways and customs), as no longer central to their role in their own communities, leading to conflicts and divisions. Dr. McIntyre’s work shows that Protestantism also threatened indigenous communities’ relative autonomy from state intrusions over the course of the postrevolutionary period, opening the door to a secularizing state that sought to mold indigenous peoples in the image of the revolutionary state. Protestantism and State Formation in Postrevolutionary Oaxaca
is a welcome addition to the literature on religion and state formation in Mexico.
Julian Dodson is a Post-doctoral Teaching Fellow at Washington State University. His research interests include nineteenth and twentieth-century Mexican history, specifically the period of the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940. Other interests include the history of the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S.-Mexico diplomatic relations, environmental, transnational, gender, and cultural history. Julian is the author of
Fanáticos, Exiles, and Spies: Revolutionary Failures on the U.S-Mexico Border, 1923-1930. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2019. Follow Julian on Twitter @JulianDodson4.