Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Cofradías

  • Allen ChristensonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_201

Definition

A voluntary association of lay worshippers dedicated to the care and veneration of a particular Roman Catholic saint’s image and associated ritual paraphernalia.

Introduction

Soon after the Spanish Conquest of the New World, mendicant friars and ecclesiastical authorities encouraged the establishment of cofradías (“confraternities”) throughout the colonial provinces of Latin America. These are voluntary associations of lay worshippers charged with administering the veneration of particular saints in order to foster Christian devotion among newly baptized indigenous people and to facilitate the collection of tithes and offerings. The earliest cofradías were established in the sixteenth century in the principal regions under Spanish control, primarily New Spain (centered in Mexico and the Guatemalan highlands) and the Andean region of South America. The focus of each cofradíais an image of its patron saint displayed on a lavishly decorated altar with associated ritual...

Keywords

Cofradía Guachibal Cargo 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA