Joining me is Dr. R. Andrew Chesnut to discuss Santa Muerte, offering a fascinating portrayal of the skeleton saint whose cult has attracted millions of devotees over the past decade. Although condemned by mainstream churches, this folk saint's supernatural powers appeal to millions of Latin Americans in the U.S. Devotees believe the Bony Lady (as she is affectionately called) to be the fastest and most effective miracle worker, and as such, her statuettes and paraphernalia now outsell those of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Saint Jude, two other giants of Mexican religiosity. Most often portrayed as a woman, she has a universal appeal, and is embrassed by women who feel disempowered, and by a large number of LGBTQ people. She is the a saving grace to some, while the antithesis of Christianity to others.
Andrew is the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of the first academic book in English on the fastest growing New Religious Movement in the Americas - Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint (OUP, 2012 & 2017), with translations in Spanish, Polish, French, Italian, and Turkish), Competitive Spirits: Latin America's New Religious Economy (OUP, 2003) and Born Again in Brazil: The Pentecostal Boom and the Pathogens of Poverty (Rutgers University Press,1997) as well as numerous book chapters, journal articles and scores of media interviews.
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Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte #spirituality #supernatural #mystical