I disappeared last two weeks for a good reason, I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation ten days ago. I am still in the middle of trying to digest the whole process. Let me please to share the title and the abstract with all of you.
“Mixed Messages: The Catholic Church and Mexico’s Uneven Local Contexts”
“This dissertation has two primary goals. It first examines the ways in which subnational political and social change influences the local teachings of the Catholic Church, producing multiple, and mixed messages within a single country. Next it explores the potential impact these distinct messages may have on those who receive them, the parishioners. For the first task, I draw on work in theology and religion and politics in Latin America to develop a theory of how and why political context at the local level exercises an influence on local churches’ messages in Mexico across four main topics: politics, moral values, social issues, and the internal organization of the church. Then, I empirically test the impact of local politics on the Catholic Church messages, analyzing an original collection of bishops’ writings and preachings. Moving to my analysis of the impact of these mixed messages, working from research on political communication, I provide a theoretical mechanism of how local churches’ messages might influence parishioners’ attitudes, and I test an association between the teachings of the Church and attitudes of those who attend church on a regular basis using public opinion surveys.”
According to Vanderbilt University standards, dissertations can make widely available in a very short period of time, in line with the new policies of open/ungated publications. Professor Jonathan T. Hiskey, my thesis adviser at Vanderbilt and I decided to take the widely open option. I hope all of you can find my dissertation, when available in few weeks, a insightful and hopefully entertaining reading about the broader implications of religions and politics in Mexico, Latin America and other Catholic settings.
I will return to different topics on my blog during the next weeks. In the meantime, I will enjoy having a little more extra time to do all these “other things” that people usually do when thesis are over.