A Curious Invitation present London Month of the Dead
HOLY DEATH IN THESE TIMES OF PLAGUE - Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint
A Live, Illustrated Zoom Talk with Historians Andrew Chesnut and Dr Kate Kingsbury
Wednesday 14th October 2020 at 7:00 pm

Virtually unknown in Mexico twenty years ago, Mexican folk saint Santa Muerte (Holy Death or Saint Death) has attracted some 12 million followers since 2001. An intriguing syncretism of the Spanish Grim Reapress and Indigenous death deities, such as the Aztec goddess Mictecacihuatl, Santa Muerte is a multifaceted vernacular saint who has quickly earned a reputation for being the speediest and most efficacious miracle-worker on the Mexican religious landscape.

In this talk, Professor Chesnut and Dr Kate Kingsbury will explain how an obscure folk saint who is regarded as heretical by the Catholic Church, has so quickly become the deity of these times of plague. Professor Chesnut will also explore how Santa Muerte plays other important roles: she is a supernatural healer, love doctor, money-maker, lawyer, and angel of death.

Dr Kingsbury will focus on the feminine roots and female followers of Santa Muerte. She will reveal the story of her time spent in rural Mexico with an indigenous female Santa Muerte shaman and her family as well as followers. Through this fieldwork, she discovered how women excluded from standard avenues of status in society work with Santa Muerte to empower themselves and their community.

Early bird tickets are just £4 and available for a limited time only. Tickets include a 20% donation to NHS Charities Together. Please click here to purchase.

Andrew Chesnut
R. Andrew Chesnut, Ph.D., holds the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies and is Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is currently conducting research on material expression of Catholic death culture, such as memento mori and holy relics. A specialist in Latin American religion, he is the author of "Competitive Spirits: Latin America's New Religious Economy" (Oxford University Press, 2003), " and Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint" (Oxford University Press 2012) and many other titles.

Dr Kate Kingsbury
Dr. Kate Kingsbury obtained her doctorate in anthropology at the University of Oxford, where she also did her Mphil. Dr. Kingsbury is author of the forthcoming book 'Daughters of Death: Female Followers of Santa Muerte' (Oxford University Press) which is based on her fieldwork in a village in rural Mexico where she spent her days with an Indigenous female Santa Muerte shaman and her family as well as followers. She has penned numerous articles on Santa Muerte and the women who worship her.

PLEASE NOTE - This talk will take place virtually via Zoom. Ticket sales will end at 5:00 pm GMT on the day of the lecture. A link to the conference will be sent to the email used at checkout at 6:00 pm GMT on the day of the event. Please email suzette@acuriousinvitation.com in the event your link fails to arrive. Please note this talk will be recorded and can be sent free of charge to ticket holders by request.