Migrating Faith

Pentecostalism in the United States and Mexico in the Twentieth Century

By Daniel Ramírez

306 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 4 halftones, 4 maps, 2 tables, appends., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2406-8
    Published: October 2015
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2407-5
    Published: September 2015

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Awards & distinctions

Pneuma Book of the Year, Society for Pentecostal Studies

Daniel Ramírez's history of twentieth-century Pentecostalism in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands begins in Los Angeles in 1906 with the eruption of the Azusa Street Revival. The Pentecostal phenomenon--characterized by ecstatic spiritual practices that included speaking in tongues, perceptions of miracles, interracial mingling, and new popular musical worship traditions from both sides of the border--was criticized by Christian theologians, secular media, and even governmental authorities for behaviors considered to be unorthodox and outrageous. Today, many scholars view the revival as having catalyzed the spread of Pentecostalism and consider the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as one of the most important fountainheads of a religious movement that has thrived not only in North America but worldwide.

Ramírez argues that, because of the distance separating the transnational migratory circuits from domineering arbiters of religious and aesthetic orthodoxy in both the United States and Mexico, the region was fertile ground for the religious innovation by which working-class Pentecostals expanded and changed traditional options for practicing the faith. Giving special attention to individuals' and families' firsthand accounts and tracing how a vibrant religious music culture tied transnational communities together, Ramírez illuminates the interplay of migration, mobility, and musicality in Pentecostalism's global boom.

About the Author

Daniel Ramírez is associate professor of religion in the School of Arts and Humanities at Claremont Graduate University.
For more information about Daniel Ramírez, visit the Author Page.


“Those interested in Pentecostal religious expression in other migrant ethnic groups and in African American evangelicalism will find the questions posed here relevant. . . . Highly recommended.”--Choice

“A study that offers fresh interpretations of Latino/a religious studies and American religions history.”--Journal of American History

“Puts forth a radical rethinking of the 1930s repatriation of Mexican immigrants and their families, which is generally depicted as a xenophobic tragedy. . . . Essential reading for graduate students in Mexican religious history, borderlands, and Latino history.”--Hispanic American Historical Review

“This highly recommended book will enrich the curricula of American religious history, Mexican religious history, borderlands history and is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate readers.”--Perspectivas

“Ramirez has not only given us a history of the origins of the Pentecostal movement along the U.S.-Mexican border, he has also modeled a narrative form that gives voice to individuals and groups who are misunderstood in most historical studies when they are not entirely passed over.”--Fides et Historia

“His layered presentation of complex ideologies, theories, and information adds a multidimensional work to the field.”--H-Net Reviews