The great many shrines of New Spain have become long-lived sites of shared devotion and contestation across social groups. They have provided a lasting sense of enchantment, of divine immanence in the present, and a hunger for epiphanies in daily life. This is a story of consolidation and growth during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, rather than one of rise and decline in the face of early stages of modernization. Based on research in a wide array of manuscript and printed primary sources, and informed by recent scholarship in art history, religious studies, anthropology, and history, this is the first comprehensive study of shrines and miraculous images in any part of early modern Latin America.
William B. Taylor is Muriel McKevitt Sonne Professor of History, Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. Research for this book took him to Spain, Guatemala, various archives and libraries in the US, and many places in Mexico. It is a culmination of many years studying religious life and especially political and cultural power in colonial Latin America. Earlier books include Magistrates of the Sacred: Priests and Parishioners in Eighteenth-Century Mexico (1996) and Shrines and Miraculous Images: Essays on Religious Life in Mexico Before the Reforma (2010). He is the recipient of several awards including the Albert J. Beveridge Award from the American Historical Association.