Securing the Soul: Christianity and Delinquency in Guatemala


ACLS Fellowship Program


Study of Religion


This study explores the intersection of God and gangs in Guatemala by tracking Christianity’s participation in an ever expanding regional security apparatus. With transnational criminal organizations on the rise, amid unprecedented rates of street crime, Pentecostal and charismatic pastors intervene in the lives of at-risk youth for the sake of both security and salvation. How does this intervention recalibrate the moral contours of security itself? What kind of people does it produce? These questions, pursued by way of extended fieldwork, bring a new perspective to Christianity’s relationship with one of today’s foundational concepts of international order: security.