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Fire in the CanyonReligion, Migration, and the Mexican Dream$
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Leah M. Sarat

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814759370

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814759370.001.0001

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Fire from Heaven

Fire from Heaven

(p.29) 1. Fire from Heaven
Fire in the Canyon

Leah Sarat

NYU Press

This chapter examines the arrival of Pentecostalism in El Alberto. In particular, it explores the stories of Pentecostals in El Alberto who witnessed development and religious change that began in the early 1960s, well before migration to the United States became commonplace. Focusing on national development in the Valle del Mezquital and the perspectives of Don Cipriano, El Alberto's first Pentecostal pastor, the chapter considers early conversion that coincided with a process of socioeconomic development in Mexico and how it altered the material circumstances of people's day-to-day lives. It shows how Pentecostalism introduced a narrative of progress that instilled the socioeconomic development process with a sense of higher purpose. It also discusses the significance of Pentecostal narratives of the past for understanding today’s migration dynamics.

Keywords:   socioeconomic development, Pentecostalism, El Alberto, religious change, migration, national development, Valle del Mezquital, conversion, progress, Mexico

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