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Edited by Patrick A. Polk With Luis Americo Bonfim, Alicia Gaspar De Alba, Sabrina Gledhill, Jim Pieper, Katherine Smith, Stephen C. Wehmeyer, And Jeri Bernadette Williams
The margins of the Americas borders that are at once physical and societal engender sacred figures who walk the fine line between sinfulness and sanctity. In worship and artistic representation alike, these entities reflect and impact the experiences of those who regularly struggle with harsh and frequently dangerous economic, political, legal, geographic, gender, and racial realities.
In this volume, Patrick A. Polk and his fellow authors examine a series of crucial, and often controversial, divine beings from Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Argentina, and the United States. They also find fascinating parallels between the lives and acts of these holy ones and those who have been formally sanctioned by the Catholic Church, revealing the peculiar interrelationship of sin to sanctity. Featured are numerous illustrations of the works of artists who interpret official and unofficial saints, folk heroes turned supernatural intercessors. The broad range of objects considered, from pop culture to fine art, attests to a widespread international infatuation with these complex and often counter-cultural spirits.