Sacrifice and Regeneration
Seventh-day Adventism and Religious Transformation in the Andes
- ISBN: 9781496233530
- Published By: University of Nebraska Press
- Published: December 2022
At the dawn of the twentieth century, while Lima’s aristocrats hotly debated the future of a nation filled with “Indians,” thousands of Aymara and Quechua Indians left the pews of the Catholic Church and were baptized into Seventh-day Adventism. One of the most staggering Christian phenomena of our time, the mass conversion from Catholicism to various forms of Protestantism in Latin America was so successful that Catholic contemporaries became extremely anxious on noticing that parts of the Indigenous population in the Andean plateau had joined a Protestant church.
In Sacrifice and Regeneration Yael Mabat focuses on the extraordinary success of Seventh-day Adventism in the Andean highlands at the beginning of the twentieth century and sheds light on the historical trajectories of Protestantism in Latin America. By approaching the religious conversion among Indigenous populations in the Andes as a multifaceted and dynamic interaction between converts, missionaries, and their social settings and networks, Mabat demonstrates how the religious and spiritual needs of converts also brought salvation to the missionaries. Conversion had important ramifications on the way social, political, and economic institutions on the local and national level functioned. At the same time, socioeconomic currents had both short-term and long-term impacts on idiosyncratic religious practices and beliefs that both accelerated and impeded religious change. Mabat’s innovative historical perspective on religious transformation allows us to better comprehend the complex and often contradictory way in which Protestantism took shape in Latin America.