Victory on Earth or in Heaven: Religion, Reform, and Rebellion in Michoacán, Mexico, 1869-1877


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation examines the origins, development, and trajectory of the “Religionero” rebellion, an important but poorly understood Catholic revolt that engulfed Mexico’s center-west between 1873 and 1877. Focusing on the state of Michoacán, which endured the most intense fighting of the conflict, the project demonstrates how mobilized rural Catholics helped to derail the liberal state’s ambitious secularization project, paving the way for a more conciliatory form of politics. Beyond reconstructing the events of the revolt, however, the project also breaks new ground in the study of Mexican Catholicism. Utilizing newly-accessible parish correspondence, this work illuminates the spiritual stakes of the conflict and analyzes the role of religious change in the development of the revolt.