Religions of Mesoamerica:  by Davíd  Carrasco
220 pages, $30.95 list
eBook availability
Religions of Mesoamerica
Second Edition
The Second Edition of Religions of Mesoamerica comes at a turning point in the study of the Americas and the religious and cultural histories of the New World. To that end, esteemed scholar Davíd Carrasco integrates past and current research, developments, and excavations to vividly synthesize the history of Mesoamerican cultures—their religious forms, ceremonial centers, complex social structures, view of time and space, myths, and rituals.

Carrasco’s deep yet concise overview takes readers on an absorbing journey where they experience the dynamics and complexities of Aztec and Maya cultures, the Spanish conquest, and cultural combinations of European and indigenous ideas and practices. He skillfully demonstrates how the religious imagination was and continues to be crucial to the survival and creativity of Mesoamerica and its Chicano/a descendants.
“I was pleased to receive the Second Edition. It is indeed reasonably priced and, for courses on Ancient Mesoamerica, an essential text. My students cannot get a real grasp of any ancient Mesoamerican culture without understanding what we know about its possible religious and philosophical underpinnings. This knowledge also helps students to interpret the ancient art.” — Barbara Borg, College of Charleston

“There is no better skilled interdisciplinary researcher nor a more lucid teacher-communicator to span the overview [of Mesoamerican culture] and deliver it than Davíd Carrasco. This culture from past to present is in Carrasco’s words as it is in his blood.” — Anthony F. Aveni, Colgate University

“Engaging and rich in detail.” — Steven Wallech, Long Beach City College

“Fantastic contribution to the Anthropology of Latin America.” — Edgar Torres, College of San Francisco
Table of Contents

1. Mesoamerica and Religions: Shock of the New and Different
Fantasies and Inventions of Mesoamerica / How Can We Know?: The Ensemble Approach to Evidence / Religion as Worldmaking, Worldcentering, and Worldrenewing

2. Mesoamerican Religions: Origins, Ancestors, and Histories
Plants and the Sacred Dead / The Olmec World: A Mother Culture? / Astronomy and the Sacred Ball Game / The Classic Maya: Kings and Cosmic Trees / Teotihuacan: The Imperial Capital / Tollan: City of the Plumed Serpent / Aztec War, Cosmic Conflict / The Mesoamerican Cosmovision

3. The Religion of the Aztecs: Ways of the Warrior, Words of the Sage
My Aztec Moment / Quetzalcoatl's Return? / The Sacred Career of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl / Cosmovision and the Human Body / Serpent Mountain: The Great Aztec Temple / Speech as a Ceremony between Humans / Rites of Renewal and Human Sacrifice

4. Maya Religion: Cosmic Trees, Sacred Kings, and the Underworld
The Lost Civilization of the Maya / The Cosmic Tree / Sacred Kingship / The Calendar and the Regeneration of Time / Archaeoastronomy and the Maya / The Ordeals of Xibalba / The Maya Collapse

5. Mesoamerica as a New Borderlands: Colonialism and Religious Creativity
La Malinche and Hybrid Mesoamerica / Destruction of People and the Invention of New Religious Patterns / When Christ Was Crucified / The Virgin of Guadalupe / The Peyote Hunt of the Huichol Indians / Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) / The Fiesta of Santiago among the Tzutujil Maya / Conclusions

Chronology of Mesoamerican Religions