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Alone at the AltarSingle Women and Devotion in Guatemala, 1670-1870$
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Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781503603684

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503603684.001.0001

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(p.201) Epilogue
Alone at the Altar

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara

Stanford University Press

The Epilogue considers how the Liberal Reform Era of the 1870s, dramatically undermined both laboring single women and the Catholic Church. Liberals directly undermined laboring women’s economic opportunities, enhanced male privileges, and promoted an exclusive nuclear family ideal, and at the same time targeted laywomen’s longtime devotional allies, expelling male religious orders, closing female convents, and abolishing lay brotherhoods, Third Orders, and most public displays of religiosity. But by the 1920s, a lay-led religious revival, supported by the Vatican, was underway and dozens of new Catholic associations emerged specifically for women. Today, laboring women are at the forefront of a new spiritual revival in Guatemala City, the rise of Pentecostalism, Evangelicalism, and charismatic Catholicism. This study’s long historical perspective suggests that the success of these movements derives from their ability to build upon Guatemala’s local religion, particularly forms of devotional expression and networking historically favored by laboring women.

Keywords:   laywomen, politics, Independence, Republican Motherhood, Jesuit, missionaries, Guatemala City, Association of the Daughters of Mary, Catholic Church

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