Modernizing through Electronic and Digital Media: Transnational Evangelicalism and Indigenous Cultures in the Andes


ACLS Fellowship Program


Communication and the Arts


This book project explores the repercussions of the rapid expansion of "evangelicalism" (non-denominational Protestants, Pentecostals, and neo-Pentecostals) among Andean indigenous communities in Colombia and Ecuador by analyzing evangelical media discourses and practices. The studied projects include US transnational radio stations like HCJB La Voz de los Andes, evangelical indigenous radio stations, and digital media. These media outlets are part of a transnational network of evangelical institutions that have fostered new religious expressions and promoted indigenous identities suitable to neoliberal multicultural inclusion. For instance, evangelical media facilitate the adaptation of indigenous individuals into a market-oriented economy by promoting financialization, capital accumulation, individual entrepreneurship (via multi-level marketing companies), and the disengagement with traditional festivities. Even though the evangelical intervention represented a significant disruption, this research shows diverse outcomes. They include the advent of de-territorialized indigenous subjectivities that engaged ambivalently with "traditional" collective practices and the emergence of syncretic evangelical religiosities that go against the grain of American missionary will.