This is the first detailed scholarly study of culture and sociability in Colombia during the period c. 1850 and 1930. Patricia Londono-Vega gives a vivid picture of some of the factors that reduced social distances in the province of Antioquia during this period of relative harmony andprosperity. She examines hundreds of the groups and voluntary associations which flourished at this time and which brought a growing number of Antioquenos of different social backgrounds together around religious practices and societies, the exercising of charity, a concern for education, and thepursuit of cultural progress.The book describes the crucial role played by religion and the Catholic Church, which underwent considerable growth after the turbulent period of mid-nineteenth century liberal reforms until the end of the conservative era in 1930, and traces the progress of parishes, devotional associations,religious communities, private and public religiosity, and numeros pilanthropic societies, all of which brought about the bonds between the classes.The author examines achievements in education and the emergence of a thriving gamut of literary groups, public libraries, social clubs, and other assciations created to promote public instuction, pedagogy, manners, temperance, 'cultivated' music, and moral improvement. These cultural associationsstrove towards the longed-for civilisation, as percieved in its prevalent Western connotations.The social intermingling brought about by all these forms of sociability did not of course abolish class distinctions, but did generate a complex and closely integrated society, with an optimistic and constructive view of itself. The description of social and cultural dynamism, set against thebackground of growing religiiosity, challenges the seldom-discussed assumption that religion slowed down social and cultural modernisation.Primary evidence, drawn from extensive researh in proceedings and reports by groups, associations, periodical publications, statistics, diaries and memoirs, travellers' accounts, books of etiquette, genre literature and other contemporary publications, as well as visual images, particularyphotographs, document important topics which have in the past attracted little attention from scholars.