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New People: Methodism and Modernization in Mexico, 1873 to 1930

By Rubén Ruiz Guerra

Translated by Daniel R. Miller

First Methodist Church Mexico CityNew People: Methodism and Modernization in Mexico, 1873 to 1930, by Professor Ruben Ruiz Guerra, is a history of the beginnings of Methodism in Mexico. It describes how the church matured from an organization dependent on missionaries into an indigenous Mexican denomination. The book approaches the subject topically with chapters on the mission’s origins, its geographical expansion, preaching, schools, and the values embraced and inculcated by the mission.

The emergence and growth of Protestant Churches in Latin America is not "news." Not only have Protestants become increasingly visible in the region because of their numbers and influence but there is a large and growing corpus of books and articles on the topic. However, most of this research focuses on the recent rise of Pentecostalism. Professor Ruiz Guerra focuses on Methodist missionaries and their converts who appeared generations before the Pentecostals. Moreover, while most books on the topic of Protestantism in Latin America have been written in English by North American and British scholars, Professor Ruiz Guerra’s book offers something of an "insider's" perspective since the author is on the faculty at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City and is also a member of the Mexican Methodist Church.

Read New People in PDF format by clicking on the links in the table of contents below.


Opening Pages

Translator's Introduction

Introduction by the Author

  1. The Methodism in the Mexican Context
    1. What Sorts of People Embraced Methodism?
    2. Rich and Poor
    3. The Opposition
    4. Methodism and Liberalism
    5. Ethical Values
    6. Patriotism
    7. Methodism and Politics
    8. Documents
      1. Advice to a Missionary about Local Politics
      2. Methodist Ethics Explained
      3. A Methodist Expreses His Patriotism
      4. Defending Methodism from Charges of Disloyalty
  2. The North American Missionaries
    1. Origins and Motivations of the Mexican Mission
    2. Cultural Baggage: Millenarianism and Manifest Destiny
    3. Mexico through North American Eyes
    4. Of Progress, Civilization, and Other Matters
    5. Who Were These Missionaries?
    6. Documents
      1. Missionary Interest in Mexico
      2. Peaceful Conquest
  3. Missionary Preaching
    1. Preparing the Soil
    2. Finding Places to Preach
    3. Scattering Seeds: Bibles and Tracts
    4. Promoting Controversy
    5. Congregational Singing
    6. Documents
      1. The Catholic clergy object to the arrival of the Protestants
      2. Methodist complaints against the influence of the Catholic Church
  4. The Geography of Mexican Methodism
    1. The Strategic Plan
    2. Successes and Failures
    3. The Cincinnati Plan to Reorganize the Mission
    4. Document
      1. An Itinerant Pastor in Rural Mexico
  5. Methodist Schools
    1. Why Schools?
    2. The Educational Philosophy of the Methodists
    3. The Curriculum: High Ideals and Practical Realities
    4. School Administration
    5. The Costs
    6. The Fruits
    7. Methodist Education and the Constitution of 1917
    8. Documents
      1. Description of a Methodist School
      2. The Benefits of Educating Women
  6. Epilogue
    1. Document
      1. Mexican Methodists Assert their Independence