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Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala
“I’m not perfect,” Mateo confessed. “Nobody is. But I try.” Secure the Soul shuttles between the life of Mateo, a born-again ex-gang member in Guatemala and the gang prevention programs that work so hard to keep him alive. Along the way, this poignantly written ethnography uncovers the Christian underpinnings of Central American security. In the streets of Guatemala City—a ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 16th 2015 by University of California Press
(first published January 12th 2015)
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Interesting examination of the efforts to help young men move away from gangs. O'Neill examines how Christian ideals are used as the basis for gang prevention. While he shares some succeesses, he also acknowledges the limiations of such intervention and the difficulties with long term transformation. Engaging and informative, the book provides revealing insights into the difficulties of gang prevention in Guatemala.
Kevin Lewis O’Neill is Assistant Professor in the Department and Centre for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. He is the author of City of God: Christian Citizenship in Postwar Guatemala and a co-editor of Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation, also published by Duke University Press.