Sowing the Sacred: Mexican Pentecostal Farmworkers in California (Hardcover)

Sowing the Sacred: Mexican Pentecostal Farmworkers in California By Lloyd Daniel Barba Cover Image
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Sowing the Sacred traces the development of Pentecostalism among Mexican-American migrant laborers in California's agricultural industry from the 1910s to the 1960s. At the time, Pentecostalism was often seen as a distasteful new sect rife with cultish and fanatical tendencies; U.S. growers thought of Mexicans as no more than a mere workforce not fit for citizenship; and industrial agriculture was celebrated for feeding American families while its exploitation of workers went largely ignored. Farmworkers were made out to be culturally vacuous and lacking creative genius, simple laborers caught in a vertiginous cycle of migrant work.

This book argues that farmworkers from La Asamblea Apost lica de la Fe en Cristo Jes s carved out a robust socio-religious existence despite these conditions, and in doing so produced a vast record of cultural vibrancy. Examining racialized portrayals of Mexican workers and their religious lives through images created by farmworkers themselves, Sowing the Sacred draws on oral histories, photographs, and materials from new archival collections to tell an intimate story of sacred-space making. In showing how these workers mapped out churches, performed outdoor baptisms in grower-controlled waterways, and built and maintained houses of worship in the fields, this book considers the role that historical memory plays in telling these stories.

About the Author

Lloyd Daniel Barba is Assistant Professor of Religion and core faculty in Latinx and Latin American Studies at Amherst College. He has published essays on the history of race and religion, Pentecostalism, Catholicism, the Sanctuary Movement, and material religion.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780197516560
ISBN-10: 0197516564
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: August 26th, 2022
Pages: 376
Language: English