Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint by R. Andrew Chesnut

Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint

byR. Andrew Chesnut

Paperback | December 13, 2011

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R. Andrew Chesnut offers a fascinating portrayal of Santa Muerte, a skeleton saint whose cult has attracted millions of devotees over the past decade. Although condemned by mainstream churches, this folk saint's supernatural powers appeal to millions of Latin Americans and immigrants in theU.S. Devotees believe the Bony Lady (as she is affectionately called) to be the fastest and most effective miracle worker, and as such, her statuettes and paraphernalia now outsell those of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Saint Jude, two other giants of Mexican religiosity. In particular, Chesnut shows Santa Muerte has become the patron saint of drug traffickers, playing an important role as protector of peddlers of crystal meth and marijuana; DEA agents and Mexican police often find her altars in the safe houses of drug smugglers. Yet Saint Death plays other importantroles: she is a supernatural healer, love doctor, money-maker, lawyer, and angel of death. She has become without doubt one of the most popular and powerful saints on both the Mexican and American religious landscapes.

About The Author

R. Andrew Chesnut is Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of Competitive Spirits: Latin America's New Religious Economy (OUP, 2003) and Born Again in Brazil: The Pentecostal Boom and the Pathogens of Poverty (1997).
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Competitive Spirits: Latin America's New Religious Economy
Competitive Spirits: Latin America's New Religious Economy

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Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint
Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint

by R. Andrew Chesnut

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Details & Specs

Title:Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton SaintFormat:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:December 13, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199764654

ISBN - 13:9780199764655

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Table of Contents

1. Origins and History of Devotion to Saint Death2. A New Religious Movement3. Crime, Punishment, and the Mexican Drug War4. Santa Muerte as Love Doctor5. Santa Muerte in the Commercial Economy6. Santa Muerte as Divine Healer7. Santa Muerte as the Saint of Justice8. Conclusion