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Professor to discuss Christianity and Mayan culture

Nov. 12, 1997

By Brandon Hale

Reporter for The Baylor Lariat

Dr. Garrett Cook, associate professor of anthropology, will speak to the Council for International Education at 4 p.m., Thursday, in 201 of the Poage Library.

Cook's presentation, titled 'Liberation Theology, Pentecostalism and Christian Syncretism: The Three Faces of Christ in Guatemala,' will be a cultural, anthropological exploration of the Mayan culture and Christianity.

Cook plans discuss the Mayan reinterpretation of the Bible according to the culture's traditions.

His lecture will also discuss the new liberation theology and evangelical faith phenomenon that is growing in Guatemala.

'My main focus will be trying to depict Christian syncretism,' Cook said, refering to the mixing of Spanish and Mayan religions after the Spanish conquest which resulted in a hybrid religion.

Cook, who has worked as a cultural anthropologist in Guatemala since 1973, said he will also discuss two traditions, Catholic Liberation Theory and Protestant Pentecostalism, which have recently (since the 70s and 80s) become important to Mayan culture.

Cook is one of 10 Baylor professors who are scheduled to speak as part of the Council for International Education's lecture series this fall, titled 'All the News That's Fit to Discuss.'

Accompanying the series of speakers is a foreign film series that will be shown at 7 p.m. on select Friday nights throughout the semester in Room 101 of the Castellaw Communications Building. The next film in the series is 'Purple Moon,' which will be shown Friday, Nov. 21.

Admission to the lectures and the films will be free and open to the public.

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