Revolution and the ritual year: religious conflict and innovation in Cristero Mexico

Matthew Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article analyses Catholic responses to persecution of the Church by the Mexican state during Mexico's cristero rebellion (1926–9) and seeks to make a new contribution to the revolt's religious history. Faced with the Calles regime's anticlericalism, the article argues, Mexico's episcopate developed an alternative cultic model premised on a revitalised lay religion. The article then focuses on changes and continuities in lay – clerical relations, and on the new religious powers of the faithful, now empowered to celebrate ‘white’ masses and certain sacraments by themselves. The article concludes that persecution created new spaces for lay religious participation, showing the 1910–40 Revolution to be a period of religious, as well as social, upheaval.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-490
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Latin American Studies
Volume38 (3)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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