Dr. Abelardo de la Cruz Joins the Department as Assistant Professor

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Dr. Abelardo de la Cruz Joins the Department as Assistant Professor

The Department of Religious Studies is delighted to welcome Dr. Abelardo de la Cruz to the faculty as Assistant Professor and Nahua scholar in Religion in the Americas. de la CruzDr. de la Cruz holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology focused on Religious Studies and is an expert in religion in Mexican Indigenous communities. His doctoral dissertation, “Motiochihuanih: Catechists and Prayer Specialists as Religious Leaders Brokering ‘el costumbre’  Nahua, in Chicontepec, Veracruz,” examines religion as it is practiced in the township of Chicontepec, which is in the Huasteca Veracruzana, in Mexico. Using oral histories that date to 1980 and qualitative ethnographic research in the present, the study focuses on four motiochihuanih. Motiochihuanih are religious leaders trained as catechists by the Catholic Church who later became prayer specialists (rezanderos). Dr. de la Cruz analyzes their personal histories, Catholic training, relationships with their clients and communities, nonconformity with Catholicism, and participation in traditional Nahua religion. He is currently working on an Oxford University Press book chapter that explores the life-cycle rituals that are a component of the Nahua religion of today. This semester (Spring 2024), Dr. de la Cruz is teaching RELI 132, “Religion and Global Justice.”

Please join us in welcoming Abelardo to the department!

Posted in News & Events on January 22, 2024. Bookmark the permalink.