Hispanic Heritage Month Reading

Some Suggested Titles from AAR's Reading Religion

Reading Religion is an open book review website published by the American Academy of Religion. The site provides up-to-date coverage of scholarly publishing in religious studies, reviewed by scholars with special interest and/or expertise in the relevant subfields. Reviews aim to be concise, comprehensive, and timely.

Below, the editors of Reading Religion have selected some books and reviews from the site and have shared some titles available to review. If you’re interested in reviewing books for Reading Religion, take a look at the guidelines. If there are any books missing from the Reading Religion site that you think should be there, email [email protected].

Available to Review

Street Scriptures: Between God and Hip-Hop

By Alejandro Nava

From the publisher:
"The world of hip-hop is saturated with religion, but rarely is that element given serious consideration. In Street Scriptures, Alejandro Nava focuses our attention on this aspect of the music and culture in a fresh way, combining his profound love of hip-hop, his passion for racial and social justice, and his deep theological knowledge. Street Scriptures offers a refreshingly earnest and beautifully written journey through hip-hop’s deep entanglement with the sacred. Nava reveals a largely unheard religious heartbeat in hip-hop, exploring crosscurrents of the sacred and profane in rap, reggaeton, and Latinx hip-hop today."

Predicadores: Hispanic Preaching and Immigrant Identity

By Tito Madrazo

From the publisher:
"In Predicadores: Hispanic Preaching and Immigrant Identity, Tito Madrazo explores the sermons of Hispanic Protestant preachers within the context of their individual and communal journeys. Formed by overlapping experiences of migration and calling and rooted in their own bilingual and bicultural realities, the first-generation preachers who collaborated in this study interpret and proclaim Scripture in ways that refuse easy characterization. What is certain is that their preaching—which incorporates both traditional and liberative elements—resonates deeply with their immigrant congregations. Madrazo contends that the power of these preachers lies in how they consistently proclaim the characteristics of God that have been most significant to them in their own migrations."

In Search of Christ in Latin America: From Colonial Image to Liberating Savior

By Samuel Escobar

From the publisher:
"Noted theologian Samuel Escobar offers a magisterial survey and study of Christology in Latin America. Starting with the first Spanish influence and moving through popular religiosity and liberationist themes in Catholic and Protestant thought of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, In Search of Christ in Latin America culminates in an important description of the work of the Latin American Theological Fraternity (FTL). Escobar chronologically traces the journey of Latin American Christology and describes the milestones along the way toward a rich understanding of the spiritual reality and powerful message of Jesus.”

Victory on Earth or in Heaven: Mexico's Religionero Rebellion

By Brian A. Stauffer

From the publisher:
"This work reconstructs the history of Mexico’s forgotten “Religionero” rebellion of 1873–1877, an armed Catholic challenge to the government of Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada. An essentially grassroots movement—organized by indigenous, Afro-Mexican, and mestizo parishioners in Mexico’s central-western Catholic heartland—the Religionero rebellion erupted in response to a series of anticlerical measures raised to constitutional status by the Lerdo government. These “Laws of Reform” decreed the full independence of Church and state, secularized marriage and burial practices, prohibited acts of public worship, and severely curtailed the Church’s ability to own and administer property."

Reviews to Read

Cuéntame: Narrative in the Ecclesial Present

By Natalia Imperatori-Lee

From the review:
“In the four decades since Latinx theology emerged as a discrete field of theological reflection, Cuéntame is the first monograph centered on ecclesiology. [...] And so she reads stories of particular relevance to her concern for the absence of Latinx voices in contemporary ecclesiology and ones of personal relevance to her own experiences as a Cuban-American Catholic woman.” - Antonio Eduardo Alonso


Latino and Muslim in America: Race, Religion, and the Making of a New Minority

By Harold D. Morales

From the review:
“[This] new book stands out as the first wholesale monograph on the topic [...] and is commendable for its comprehensive and nuanced introduction to this important religious minority. This type of book has been in need for years, and it is a welcome supplement to the diversifying field of American religious studies.” – Ken Chitwood


The Saints of Santa Ana: Faith and Ethnicity in a Mexican Majority City

By Jonathan E. Calvillo

From the review:
"One of the driving questions in the study of Latinx religions is what role religion plays in ethnic identity formation and maintenance [...] Calvillo’s sympathetic and beautifully written book answers this question in multiple ways and with fine-grained analysis that rubs the edges off of stark dichotomies” - Brett Hendrickson


Archives of Conjure: Stories of the Dead in Afrolatinx Cultures

By Solimar Otero

From the review:
"[This book] transcends any one discipline or field, drawing on archival research and ethnographic fieldwork documenting various modes through which the deceased are materialized in narrations of specific deities as well as rituals engaging them embodied by present day practitioners” - Sierra L. Lawson


Latinxs, the Bible, and Migration

Edited by Efraín Agosto and Jacqueline Hidalgo

From the review:
"The Latinx biblical scholars in Latinxs, the Bible, and Migration invite readers into a Bible that is immediate. Indeed, a central thread throughout these essays is the historicization of Latinx (im)migrant experience in a variety of relationships with biblical literature.” - David Luckey