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Estudios atacameños

On-line version ISSN 0718-1043


GASCON, Jordi. Beyond the message of salvation. The uses of religious conversion in the Peruvian Andean South. Estud. atacam. [online]. 2021, vol.67, 34.  Epub Jan 05, 2022. ISSN 0718-1043.

The paper compares two periods in the history of a Quechua community (Amantaní Island, Titicaca Lake, Peru). They were moments of social conflict, in which the Seventh-day Adventist Church played a significant role. At each moment, different indigenous sectors, with different interests, and political and economic objectives, showed greater predisposition to religious change. This demonstrates the strategic nature of the conversion. But religious change was not necessarily a conscious strategy. The islanders do not notice the relationship between interests and the option of faith. Bourdieu’s constructivist theory allows us to understand how the conversion coherently fits the objectives of each social group, even if it is not the result of planning. The research is based on three qualitative sources: participant observation, in-depth interviews, and public and private archives.

Keywords : adventism; indigenous peoples; peasant struggles; tourism; Andes.

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