Hartch Book, "Rebirth of Latin American Christianity," Earns Another Honor

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An Eastern Kentucky University history professor’s book has been recognized on a list of 15 outstanding books for 2014 for missionary studies.

The International Bulletin of Missionary Research selected Dr. Todd Hartch’s “The Rebirth of Latin American Christianity” for the honor.

The book, recognized by Christianity Today magazine as last year’s best book in Missions/Global Affairs, examines the changes that have swept across Latin America in the last 50 years, situating them in the context of growth of Christianity in the global south.

Hartch’s latest work also touches on Christianity in Latin America. “The Prophet of Cuernavaca: Ivan Illich and the Crisis of the West” was published recently by Oxford University Press.

Although commissioned in 1961 by American bishops to run a missionary training center in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Illich emerged as one of the major critics of the missionary movement. His relentless criticism of the Catholic Church eventually led to a Vatican trial in 1968, after which he left the priesthood. Hartch’s book traces the development of Illich’s ideas from his work as a priest through his later secular period, offering one of the first book-length historical treatments of his thought in English.

Gilbert M. Joseph, Farnam Professor of History and International Studies at Yale University, said Hartch “provides an illuminating portrait of one of the last century’s most influential, yet misunderstood, critics of western modernity and the Catholic Church.”

Published on April 23, 2015

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