The History of the Future in Colonial Mexico

Matthew D. O'Hara

View Inside Price: $38.00


November 20, 2018
272 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
12 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300233933
Hardcover

A prominent scholar of Mexican and Latin American history challenges the field’s focus on historical memory to examine colonial-era conceptions of the future
 
Going against the grain of most existing scholarship, Matthew D. O’Hara explores the archives of colonial Mexico to uncover a history of “futuremaking.” While historians and historical anthropologists of Latin America have long focused on historical memory, O’Hara—a Rockefeller Foundation grantee and the award-winning author of A Flock Divided: Race, Religion, and Politics in Mexico—rejects this approach and its assumptions about time experience. Ranging widely across economic, political, and cultural practices, O’Hara reveals how colonial subjects used the resources of tradition and Catholicism to craft new futures. An intriguing, innovative work, this volume will be widely read by scholars of Latin American history, religious studies, and historical methodology.

Matthew D. O’Hara is chair of the history department and professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, he lives in Santa Cruz, CA.

"With colonial-era Catholicism as the leitmotif and provocative case studies for every chapter, this is a refreshing twist on Mexico’s lived past, as mother of innovation more than unremitting burden." - William B. Taylor, author of Theater of a Thousand Wonders: A History of Miraculous Images and Shrines in New Spain

"In his thoughtful and thought-provoking new book, O’Hara argues that there emerged within late-colonial Mexico’s shifting religious culture a fascinating phenomenon that he calls “a grammar of futuremaking.” By revealing how Mexicans imagined and experienced their future, he forces us to reconceive our perception of their past. Transcending its own boundaries of time and space in terms of the significance of its implications, The History of the Future in Mexico is surely destined to be on the reading lists of all scholars and students of Mexico, of Latin American religion, and of the colonial period." - Matthew Restall, author of When Montezuma Met Cortés:The True Story of the Meeting that Changed History
 

"In this challenging and original book, Matt O’Hara forces us to rethink our concepts of time, and through an imaginative analysis of Christian theology, popular religion, and the uses of memory he shows how those elements have been fused and employed to allow Latin Americans to remember their past and to recast the possibilities for their future. This is an exciting mix of history, philosophy, and anthropology that offers new ways to see the uses of memory and history." - Stuart B. Schwartz, author of All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World