The Politics of Latino Faith

Religion, Identity, and Urban Community

Catherine E. Wilson

NYU Press (publisher)

Pundits and commentators are constantly striving to understand the political behavior of Latinos—the largest minority in the United States and a key voting block. As Catherine E. Wilson makes clear in The Politics of Latino Faith, not only are Latinos a religious community, but their religious institutions, in particular faith-based organizations, inform daily life and politics in Latino communities to a considerable degree.Timely and discerning, The Politics of Latino Faith is a unique scholarly work that addresses this increasingly powerful political force. As Wilson shows, Latino religious institutions, whether congregations or faith-based organizations, have long played a significant role in the often poor and urban communities where Latinos live.Concentrating on urban areas in the South Bronx, Philadelphia, and Chicago, she provides a systematic look at the spiritual, social, and cultural influence Latino faith-based organizations have provided in American life. Wilson offers keen insight into how pivotal religious identity is in understanding Latino social and political involvement in the United States. She also shows the importance of understanding the theological underpinnings at work in these organizations in order to predict their political influences.

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