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Posted December 14, 2006

Book: On the Move: A History of the Hispanic Church in the United States
Author: Moises Sandoval
Orbis Books. Maryknoll, NY. 2006. Pp. 188

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Fifteen years after its first publication, On The Move remains the essential history of the Hispanic church in the United States. Beginning with the roots of Hispanic faith in indigenous religion, Sandoval goes on to recount the conquest and evangelization by Spain, the American conquest of the Southwest, the rise of the melting-pot church, and finally, in recent decades, the coming church of the poor.

This is a story of marginalization and emergence, as Hispanic Catholics struggled to assert their dignity and to claim their own cultural identity in an essentially Anglo church. Now, with the first Hispanic bishops, the Encuentro movement, and the emergence of Hispanic theology, a new church is coming forth, enriched by a diversity of cultures, standing with the poor, and embracing the full experience of its peoples. With Hispanics soon to constitute the majority of Catholics in the U.S., this is a story that deserves wide attention.

An Excerpt from the Book:

As regards mission. Hispanics model a church more attuned to and respectful of diversity, less materialistic and individualistic, more family and community based, in which faith is mediated by their culture rather than by the dominant secular culture and ideology of the United States. Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes, writing about Hispanics in the United States, says the universal question of the twenty-first century is how we deal with the “other” at a time of global interdependence and communications. He suggests that the people best prepared to deal with that central issus are Hispanics, who are “Iberian and Greed, Roman and Jewish, Arab, Gothic and Gypsy. Spain and the New World are centers where multiple cultures meet . . .When we exclude we betray ourselves. When we include, we find ourselves.”

Table of Contents:

Part I: Contributions of Pre-Columbian Religion

1. The Indigenous Heritage

Part II: Conquest and Evangelizaiton by the Spaniards

2. Conquest, settlement, and evangelization

Part III: American Conquest and the melting-pot church

3. A New Conquest

4. Growth and conflict (1890-1946)

Part IV: The Church of the poor comes of age

5. The struggle for rights

6. Ministers and ministry

7. The church and immigrants

8. Hispanic American Protestantism in the United States

9. The future Hispanic church