Spring 2024

Latinx Religion and Immigration

Listed in: Latinx and Latin Amer Studies, as LLAS-333  |  Religion, as RELI-333


Lloyd D. Barba (Section 01)


Offered as RELI-233, LLAS-233.

Latinos, the largest ethnic minority group in the US, are fundamentally altering the nation’s religious landscape. From mosques and megachurches across the Southwest to storefront churches in places such and Hartford and New York City, the Latinx faithful congregate in diverse settings and thus challenge traditional ideas of what religious communities look like. Renewed immigration since the late twentieth century has played no small part in revitalizing American religious life and posing some of the greatest challenges to prevailing ideas of religious pluralism. Though once assumed to “all be Catholic,” current statistical data suggests a decline in Catholic affiliation as Latino of all generations are opting for alternatives such as Pentecostalism, New Age Movements, Mormonism, and Islam to name a few.

In this course, we will investigate historical and sociological perspectives to answer how and why religion continues to be a cornerstone for the development of Latin American (im)migrant communities and neighborhoods in the US. For several decades, scholars have recognized this profound connection between religion and immigration in regard to community formation and integration for recent arrivals. Religion has historically helped immigrants make sense of the overwhelming changes brought about by their movement from both a theological and sociological standpoint. From a theological standpoint, (im)migrants often interpret their migration as divinely willed and accordingly seek out guidance before, during, and after their journey. In this seminar style class, students will read various case studies, primary source materials, and theories about religion and migration to understand religion as both a barrier and a bridge for Latinx communities in the US. Students in this course will gain a broad understanding of factors affecting (im)migration from Latin America to the US and the role of religion in this process. We will pay special attention to the role of religion in (im)migrants’ journeys to the US, how religion impacts community formation across the US, and how religion facilitates transnational connections to one’s homeland. This course is open to all students.

Spring Semester. Professor L. Barba. 

How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to RELI and LLAS majors, followed by seniors and juniors.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Class will involve discussion in the group as a whole and in smaller work groups. Assignments will include a series of brief essays and the preparation of a final independent research essay. Skills required for this cap-stone project will be provided throughout the semester.

LLAS 333 - LEC

Section 01
W 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM CHAP 101


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2024