Felipe Hinojosa, "From Occupation to Sanctuary: How Latina/os Transformed American Religion”

On Monday at 2:30 p.m., at the Angela Morales Lecture Hall, Felipe Hinojosa will give his talk “From Occupation to Sanctuary: How Latina/os Transformed American Religion.” To be more specific, in the late 1960s Chicana/o and Puerto Rican activists occupied churches and disrupted religious services in cities across the country--from Chicago to Houston and Los Angeles to New York--to protest urban renewal and to demand that both Catholic and Protestant churches become a more active presence in the struggles for civil rights. For the most part, these occupations have been overlooked and forgotten as nothing more than a flash in the pan; as inspiring moments with little or no long-term impact. But a closer look at the legacy of these occupations reveals that they not only helped launch reformist movements within churches in the 1970s, they also raised important questions about the space of the church, the church's relationship to the community, and Latina/o religious politics. These questions, and the debates and struggles that they inspired, laid the theological and political groundwork for what would later emerge as the Sanctuary movement in the 1980s in churches across the country.