Magical Realism, Latin American Theology, and the Appearance of a Pre-Critical Theory: Mary versus Ideology explores why the greatest boom of Marian apparitions in history, related by poor rural women and children, occurred simultaneously with the rise of urban elites’ secularizing ideologies—and often in the same countries. This unique glimpse goes beyond the simple stories and symbols of the Marian apparitions, revealing a critique of the modern and postmodern social imaginaries that gave life to innumerable ideologies. Utilizing the Latin American hermeneutic lenses of liberation theology and magical realism, this book demonstrates how popular religion, with its mythical-narrative nucleus, is a space of resistance against the totalizing projects of modernity. Modern and postmodern proposals, like those of Marxist or poststructuralist, argue that one must use critical thinking to evade or at least expose ideologies. Alfredo Ignacio Poggi, on the contrary, maintains that a naïve, or more aptly pre-critical, perception of the world is the best starting point for challenging contemporary ideologies.
Alfredo Ignacio Poggi is associate professor at the University of North Georgia.
Chapter 1: Enlightenment
Chapter 2: French Revolution
Chapter 3: The Industrial Revolution
Chapter 4: The Russian Revolution
Chapter 5: World War II
Chapter 6: The Cultural Revolutions of the 1960s
Chapter 7: The Fall of the Berlin Wall
Chapter 8: 9/11 Terrorist Attacks
Chapter 9: Covid-19
The world of political leaders, military strategists, shrewd philosophers, and other elites twisting ideologies to define and redefine the West curiously meets that of children and peasants, mostly women and poor, interpreting one of the most powerful Christian symbols ever, the Virgin Mary, while making sense of what happens around them. Alfredo Ignacio Poggi has written a truly creative, erudite, and enticing book. It will reshape how you read the history of Western ideas.
By observing Marian faith, Alfredo Ignacio Poggi nuances established theories and ideologies and their global accidents in the name of reason and progress. This book revitalizes the devotional notion of good and unveils the pervasive idea of a heuristic systemic/environmental equilibrium. Poggi invites us to observe the dialectics between spirituality and rationality, determining the relation between intellectual elites and anonymous citizenry.
Alfredo Ignacio Poggi has written a unique and fascinating explanation of the rise of Marian apparitions in the twentieth century. He takes what the visionaries said and did in response to their experiences at face value. He applies the theoretical lens of Charles Taylor, author of A Secular Age, and the Latin American magical realism of authors such as Gabriel García Márquez, to achieve a longer view stretching back to the Enlightenment. From this vantage point, those who received and were influenced by Marian visions were engaged in a legitimate reaction to the unprecedented violence, dislocation, massification, and forced urbanization that exponentially increased as the twentieth century unfolded. The insights gained are profoundly important for understanding our times.