En Divina Luz: The Penitente Moradas of New Mexico – NEW

En Divina Luz: The Penitente Moradas of New Mexico – NEW


This book is out of print and new copies are hard to come by. We have a limited number of BRAND NEW copies available for purchase.  Signed by the photographer.

The Penitente Brotherhood, formally known as La Fraternidad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, is a lay Catholic organization unique to New Mexico and southern Colorado. This book documents moradas, the buildings in which the Brothers meet and pray, and offers an intimate and respectful account of their religious observances. The Penitente Brothers have been objects of intense curiosity ever since New Mexico became a tourist attraction, and they have guarded their privacy fiercely. The book respects the privacy of all members of the brotherhood. Quotations are anonymous: building locations are unidentified. But unlike previous melodramatic or scholarly accounts, Michael Wallis’s straightforward text and Craig Varjabedian’s unadorned photos capture the deep piety of the brothers and their complex relationship with their history and the modern world.

These are ordinary people, many of whom have moved away from the mountain villages in order to earn their livings in city jobs. For these hermanos, keeping their tie to the morada is to keep alive their history, their culture, as well as to express a deep piety. It is impossible to see Craig Varjabedian’s luminous photos of their moradas or to hear the voices of the hermanos captured in Michael Wallis’s intimate text without being moved by this glimpse into a religious experience absent from the lives of most Americans.

The book includes 72 photographs by Craig Varjabedian with essay by Pulitzer-nominated author Michael Wallis. 

Winner of the prestigious 1995 Association of American University Presses Award for Excellence.

“A book resounding with awe. Stunning black-and-white photos show the moradas dwarfed against the immensity of bare mountains, open sky and storm clouds. These pictures “speak” in a simple immediate way of the brotherhood’s humility before the grandeur of their creator.”
– Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times

Photographs by Craig Varjabedian.
Essay by Michael Wallis, Foreword by Hermano Felipe Ortega
Afterword by Hermano Charles M. Carrillo, Ph.D
From an exhibition organized by the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History
Published by the University of New Mexico Press, 1994.
Hardcover, 147 pages
ISBN-10: 082631547X
ISBN-13: 978-0826315472

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