Dr. R. Andrew Chesnut holds the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair and is Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. A Latin America specialist, Professor Chesnut is the author of numerous articles and five books, including his latest Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint, which is the first and only academic study in English of the folk saint of death. Dr. Chesnut is a regular news commentator on religious affairs and writes a blog for Patheos.
In today’s podcast, Professor R. Andrew Chesnut connects Brazil’s colonial past to its pluralist present and explains why folk saint devotion to Santa Muerte or Lady Death is one of the fastest growing religious movements in the world.
Get a global perspective on the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), whose Australian branches were discussed in our recent episode with Dr. Kathleen Openshaw. Describing the UCKG as a leader in a global Pentecostal vanguard influencing the Catholic Church, respondents Professor Andrew Chesnut and Dr. Kate Kingsbury outline how the UCKG's focus on health, wealth, and spiritual warfare have been critical to its success with migrants in Australian and around the world.