Drawing the Sacred In and Out: Catholic aesthetics and the negotiation of proximity in Mexico - Dr Alanna Cant

23 October 2019, 1.00 PM - 23 October 2019, 3.00 PM

Dr Alanna Cant, University of Kent

G.10, 43 Woodland Road

Drawing the Sacred In and Out: Catholic aesthetics and the negotiation of proximity in Mexico

This paper argues that aesthetic or ‘sensational’ forms not only contribute to creating feelings of belonging within religious communities, but that they also act as mediators that allow social distance and proximity to be negotiated, reduced or maintained.

Based on research in the Mexican parish of Santa Cruz Mixtepec (Oaxaca), the paper shows how people may use aesthetic practices to cultivate more intimate relationships with the divine and to maintain and mediate differences between local ‘popular’ practices and the official conventions of the Catholic Church.

Such aesthetic practices do not resolve such differences, but rather allow for negotiation and re-articulation within the local Catholic community.

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