chapter  2
Mexico: Christianity and the Struggle for Collective Identity
ByMichele Zebich-Knos
Pages 15

This chapter examines Mexico's search for religious accommodation as its leaders strive to achieve a 21st century identity whose roots lie not only in indigenous Spanish and mestizo cultures, but also in the intersection of the traditional and modern worlds. It explains the conflict-ridden political history of Mexico's church-state relations. The chapter then discusses contemporary changes and newly emerging actors that place added strain on these relations. The Roman Catholic Church has, since the Spanish colonial period, shaped the Mexican psyche in a love-hate relationship with its religious dominance. To garner support for such monumental changes, revolutionary leaders built upon Mexico's indigenous heritage in order to create a new collective identity out of the ashes of armed struggle. After examining the role of religion in Mexico's collective identity, one can conclude that Mexico is in the throes of, what might be called, an 'accommodation shift'.