In Governing Spirits, 1997 IDRF Fellow Reinaldo L. Roman explores the changing relationship between those who regulate religious expression and those who practice religion in neocolonial Cuba and Puerto Rico. Not until after the arrival of American troops during the Spanish-American War were non-Catholics allowed to openly practice their religion. Thus, when government efforts to ensure freedom of worship began, religious reformers in Cuba and Puerto Rico rejoiced, believing that the changes signaled the beginning of an era of modernization. But the new laws did not secure freedom of religion easily; critics voiced their dismay at the rise of popular religions as the new laws went into effect. Examining seven episodes between 1898 and the Cuban Revolution when the public demanded official actions against “misbelief,” Roman finds that when outbreaks of superstition were debated, matters of citizenship were usually at stake. Governing Spirits also contributes to the understanding of vernacular religions by moving beyond questions of national or traditional origins to illuminate how boundaries among hybrid practices evolved in a process of historical contingencies. Buy from Amazon.