The Other Americas by Leon J. Podles

Book Review

The Other Americas

The Rebirth of Latin American Christianity
by Todd Hartch
Oxford University Press, 2014
(294 pages, $24.95, paperback)

reviewed by Leon J. Podles

Todd Hartch, a professor of Latin American history at Eastern Kentucky College, maintains that Latin America has become both more Protestant and more Catholic in the past two generations. He holds that "Protestantism was a blessing in disguise for the Catholic Church. Nothing roused Latin American Catholics more than the spread of Protestantism."

Catholicism was the universal religion of Latin America, but the Catholic Church encompassed a spectrum of religious modes, from the clerical, European Catholicism of the cities to the folk Catholicism of the countryside, where priests were rare, and which faded off into syncretism and paganism.

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Leon J. Podles holds a Ph.D. in Old English and Old Icelandic from the University of Virginia and is a senior editor of Touchstone. His latest book is Losing the Good Portion: Why Men Are Alienated from Christianity (St. Augustine's Press, 2020). He and his wife Mary (author of the Touchstone column "A Thousand Words") are the parents of six children. He resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

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