Kay Higuera Smith is the Beverly Hardcastle Stanford Fellow in 2018-2019
Kay Higuera Smith (Department of Biblical and Religious Studies), Offering Up Faith: The Embodied World of LatinX Bible Reading and Meaning-Making
In her book Offering Up Faith, Kay Higuera Smith will examine the varieties of ways that both Catholic and Protestant U.S. Latinos/Latinas experience and reimagine Christian identity and meaning—especially biblical meaning—in light of the various intersectional streams that shape Latino/a life in the U.S. The book’s title reflects the resilient, transcultural phenomenon of Latinx spirituality in the Americas, a set of traditions that draws from sacramental, shamanistic, indigenous, African, colonial Spanish and European roots in a fascination medley of spiritual experience and meaning-making in the borderlands. According to the Pew Research Center’s 2013 National Survey of Latinos and Religion, out of an estimated 35.4 million adults in the U.S. who identify as Latino/a, 19.6 million (55%) identify as Catholic and 7.7 million (about 22%) identify either as Protestant, born-again, or evangelical, with the latter group growing at a rate of 4% from 2010-2013. Latinx identity has become too significant in the general population of the U.S. to ignore and too important for Christian scholars to overlook when considering how Christian communities in the U.S. make meaning with respect to the Bible. Offering Up Faith will shed light on the complexity and importance of Latinx Bible Reading and Meaning-Making.