The Cursillo Movement in America

Catholics, Protestants, and Fourth-Day Spirituality

By Kristy Nabhan-Warren

344 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 12 halftones, appends., notes, index

  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-0717-7
    Published: September 2013
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-0716-0
    Published: September 2013
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8475-6
    Published: September 2013

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The internationally growing Cursillo movement, or "short course in Christianity," founded in 1944 by Spanish Catholic lay practitioners, has become popular among American Catholics and Protestants alike. This lay-led weekend experience helps participants recommit to and live their faith. Emphasizing how American Christians have privileged the individual religious experience and downplayed denominational and theological differences in favor of a common identity as renewed people of faith, Kristy Nabhan-Warren focuses on cursillistas--those who have completed a Cursillo weekend--to show how their experiences are a touchstone for understanding these trends in post-1960s American Christianity.

Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork as well as historical research, Nabhan-Warren shows the importance of Latino Catholics in the spread of the Cursillo movement. Cursillistas' stories, she argues, guide us toward a new understanding of contemporary Christian identities, inside and outside U.S. borders, and of the importance of globalizing American religious boundaries.

About the Author

Kristy Nabhan-Warren is the V. O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Fellow in Catholic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Iowa and author of The Virgin of El Barrio: Marian Apparitions, Catholic Evangelizing, and Mexican American Activism.
For more information about Kristy Nabhan-Warren, visit the Author Page.


“Challenges scholars of American religions to think across national and denominational boundaries.”

"An important study. Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers."--Choice

“Nabhan-Warren’s history of the Cursillo movement is a ground-breaking work and fills a void in American religious history.”--America: The National Catholic Weekly

"Richly textured and very readable. Describes and analyzes a sometimes invisible but important slice of American Christianity."--Chester Gillis, Georgetown University