By Sharon Erickson Nepstad
Many U.S. Christians have been profoundly moved via the liberation struggles in significant the United States within the Nineteen Eighties. so much discovered concerning the state of affairs from missionaries who had labored within the zone and witnessed the repression firsthand. those missionaries, Sharon Erickson Nepstad indicates, hired the institutional and cultural assets of Christianity to grab the eye of yank congregations and remind them of the ethical responsibilities in their religion. Drawing on archival facts and in-depth interviews with activists in ten separate team spirit firms round the kingdom, Nepstad deals a wealthy research of the reports of spiritual leaders and church individuals within the harmony flow. She explores the ethical which means of protest and the ways that clergy used spiritual rituals, martyr tales, and biblical teachings to set up a hyperlink among religion and activism. She appears on the components that reworked missionaries into expert leaders who have been capable of translate the critical American conflicts into Christian topics and a non secular language accepted to U.S. congregations. She additionally bargains insights into the original demanding situations of organizing at the transnational point and indicates how the unity stream made U.S. coverage in the direction of crucial the United States probably the most hotly contested concerns in American politics in the course of the Eighties. Unpacking the consequences of her learn for the sphere of collective motion, Nepstad stresses the significance of the person human brokers who form, and are formed by means of, the constructions and cultures during which they function. She argues that operating in and during the church gave supporters of unity ethical credibility in addition to a wealthy resource of symbolic, human, and fabric assets that enabled them to arrive throughout nationwide boarders, motivating others to behave upon their deeply held ethical convictions. laying off new gentle at the genesis and evolution of this significant activist move, Convictions of the Soul might be of curiosity to scholars and students of social activities, faith, and politics.
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Extra info for Convictions of the Soul: Religion, Culture, and Agency in the Central America Solidarity Movement
When the Liberals gained control of the country’s political institutions, they made Walker commander-in-chief of the army. Walker saw the lucrative potential of Nicaragua and was not content to remain the head of the military, so in 1856 he declared himself president. He quickly attempted to attract foreign investment in order to modernize the country, and thus passed legislation that legalized slavery and made English the ofﬁcial language. Eventually, Walker was driven out by the armed forces of neighboring countries.
50 By the 1920s, unions were forming, and many Salvadorans were inspired by the Mexican and Russian revolutions. One of these unions was led by Augustı´n Farabundo Martı´, who later served as the personal secretary to the Nicaraguan folk hero, Sandino. 51 He then returned to El Salvador, where he founded a communist party and began working for social reform. However, conditions were difﬁcult in light of the Great Depression’s devastating impact on the country’s economy. Expanding ﬁnancial troubles contributed to a fragmentation of the elite and the military during the presidential campaign of 1931.
Finally, as a system of values and sacred beliefs, religion can provide transcendent motivation for activism since it addresses the most profound human questions—the purpose of life, the signiﬁcance of death, the path toward a meaningful existence. 40 Moreover, many religious traditions call the faithful to a life of altruistic service that can be channeled into activism. This type of sacriﬁcial disposition is particularly valuable since movement participation often demands a lot of time and effort and may entail serious risks.
Convictions of the Soul: Religion, Culture, and Agency in the Central America Solidarity Movement by Sharon Erickson Nepstad