Primitive Revolution: Restorationist Religion and the Idea of the Mexican Revolution, 1940-1968

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In this intriguing study, Jason Dormady examines the ways members of Mexico's urban and rural poor used religious community to mediate between themselves and the state through the practice of religious primitivism, the belief that they were restoring Christianity--and the practice of Mexican citizenship--to a more pure and essential state. Focusing on three community formation projects--the Iglesia del Reino de Dios en su Plenitud, a Mormon-based polygamist organization; the Iglesia Luz del Mundo, an evangelical Protestant organization; and the Union Nacional Sinarquista, a semi-fascist Mexican Catholic group--Dormady argues that their attempts to establish religious authenticity mirror the efforts of officials to define the meaning of the Mexican Revolution in the era following its military phase. Despite the fact that these communities engaged in counterrevolutionary behavior, the state remained pragmatic and willing to be flexible depending on convergence of the group's interests with those of the official revolution.