The Spiritual Evolution of Margarito Bautista: Mexican Mormon Evangelizer, Polygamist Dissident, and Utopian Founder, 1878-1961

ISBN : 9780190942106

Elisa Eastwood Pulido
344 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
May 2020
Send mail

This book is the first full-length biography of Margarito Bautista (1878-1961), a celebrated Latino Mormon leader in the U.S. and Mexico in the early twentieth century who was a Mexican cultural nationalist, visionary, founder of a utopian commune, and Mormon dissident. Surprisingly little is known about Bautista's remarkable life, the scope of his work, or the development of his vision. Elisa Eastwood Pulido draws on his letters, books, pamphlets, and unpublished diaries to provide a lens through which to view the convergence of Mormon evangelization, Mexican nationalism, and religious improvisation in the U.S. Mexico borderlands. A successful proselytizer of Mexicans for years, from 1922 onward Bautista came to view the paternalism of the Euro-American leadership of the
Church as a barrier to ecclesiastical self-governance by indigenous Latter-day Saints . In 1924, he began his journey away from mainstream Mormonism. By 1946, he had established a completely Mexican-led polygamist utopia in Mexico on the slopes of the volcano Popocateptl, twenty-two kilometers southeast of Mexico City. Here, he preached an alternative Mormonism rooted in Mesoamerican history and culture. Based on his indigenous hermeneutic of Mormon scripture, Bautista proclaimed that the indigenous peoples of the Americas were a chosen race, destined to wrest both political and spiritual authority from the descendants of Euro-American colonists. This book provides an in-depth look at a man still regarded with cultural pride by those Mexican and Mexican American Mormons who remember him as an iconic and revolutionary figure.


1. A Brief History of Indigenous Religious Authority in Mexico: 1519-1900
2. The Mormons in Mexico, 1875-1901
3. Bautista Embraces Mormonism, 1901-1910
4. North of the U.S./Mexico Border: From Refugee and Pilgrim to Mexican Cultural Nationalist, 1910-1922
5. Conflict with Euro-American Mormon Leadership, 1922-1935
6. Bautista's Magnum Opus: La evolucion de Mexico, 1930-1935
7. Bautista's Repatriation to Mexico, 1935
8. The Third Convention, 1936
9. Creating Utopia: Colonia Industrial/Nueva Jerusalen: 1942-1961
Appendix A
Appendix B

About the author: 

Elisa Eastwood Pulido is a Visiting Scholar at Claremont Graduate University through June 2020. She is a religious historian, who specializes in Religion in Mexico, Religion in the U.S./Mexico borderlands, Race and Religion, and Gender Studies. She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Claremont Graduate University.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.