Dr. Oscar A. Espinosa

Departments of Philosophy and Political Science, Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya

Title and Précis:

The Catholic Church and the Indigenous Movement in the Peruvian Amazon Region

     The relationship of the Catholic Church to the indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon region has fluctuated significantly throughout the past three centuries. The original Christianizing task of the Spanish missionaries has undergone significant changes due to renewals of understanding, political structures, and solidarity in relation to Peru’s indigenous movements. This project will historically analyze the role of the Church at the birth of the indigenous movement (1970s–1980s) and the role of the Church today in the context of globalization and the international demands for indigenous rights. The research will be primarily qualitative and will make use of newspaper/Internet articles, interviews, and archives of religious congregations.


     Prof. Oscar A. Espinosa received his Doctoral degree in Anthropology and Historical Studies from the New School for Social Research in 2005.  He is an Assistant Professor at the Philosophy and Political Science Department at the Antonio Ruiz de Montoya University and Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Social Sciences at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru.  He is also been the Director of the Institute for Ethics and Development at the Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya.  He has carried out research in the Peruvian Amazon since 1991, especially among the Ashaninka and the Shipibo-Konibo peoples.