Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Holy Jester: Martyrdom, Social Cohesion and Meaning in Mexico The story of Miguel Agustin Pro SJ, 1927–1988
by Lopez-Menendez, Marisol, Ph.D., New School University, 2012, 325; 3495845
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the problem of martyrdom from a sociological perspective, by linking it to social cohesion, social mobilization and social meaning. To do this, I have analyzed the case of Miguel A. Pro, a Catholic Jesuit priest executed in 1927 Mexico, in the context of the Cristero war. The time frame I have used goes from the moment of his death to the year of his beatification by the Vatican.

My work studies several versions of Miguel Pro's life and death and makes connections with the political climate and the overall changes transnational Catholicism was experiencing at the time. In doing so, I have discussed the linkages between religious and political spheres.

My main argument is threefold. Firstly, that martyrdom provides a fertile terrain for sociological inquiry due to the storytelling process involved, as well as the complex relationship between memory and factual truth present in modern-day martyrdom.

Secondly, that martyrial accounts are deeply embedded in social and political contexts, so they must change over time in order to update and maintain their ability to mobilize the faithful. Thirdly, that institutional affiliation and support are paramount to the successful creation of a martyrial account.

The highly contextual and specifically historical method used aims to contribute to the intersections between political sociology and sociology of religion by studying a phenomenon where Church, state, faith and social mobilization are entwined.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Arato, Andrew
Commitee: Arato, Andrew, Daynes, Sarah, Forment, Carlos, Steele, Miriam
School: New School University
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 73/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Biographies, Religious history, Latin American history, Social structure
Keywords: Catholic, Martyrdom, Memory studies, Mexican Revolution, Pro Juarez, Miguel Agustin, Social thought
Publication Number: 3495845
ISBN: 9781267198143
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