Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, History, Iowa State University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2006
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, University of Texas / Austin
The Catholic Action Movement in Guatemala

My dissertation will focus on the Guatemalan Catholic Action movement in an attempt to understand the roots and evolution of church thinking and policy that took place during the middle years of the twentieth century (1931-1964). In order to do so, it will contextualize Guatemalan Catholicism in its international context by documenting the contacts established between foreign missionaries and Guatemalan parishioners, explore the activities of the Catholic Action movement by using a regional analytical framework, and, more important, examine the various transfo1111ations through which Guatemalan Catholicism went through in the middle years of the twentieth century. Through a combination of archival research and oral histories, I hope to highlight some of the paradoxical aspects of the Cold War era. I intend to answer why between the 1930s and the 1960s the Guatemalan church went from actively promoting an ideology of anti-communism and religious orthodoxy to sponsoring programs of socioeconomic development and justice.