R. Andrew Chesnut

R. Andrew Chesnut is Bishop F. Walter Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Professor Chesnut’s early work, Born Again in Brazil: The Pentecostal Boom and the Pathogens of Poverty (Rutgers University Press, 1997), traces the meteoric rise of Pentecostalism among the popular classes in Brazil. His second book, Competitive Spirits: Latin America’s New Religious Economy (Oxford University Press, 2003) focuses on the three groups that have prospered most in the region’s pluralist landscape, Pentecostalism, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and African diasporic religions. His most recent work, Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint (Oxford University Press, 2012) is the first academic book in English on the mushrooming cult of Saint Death. He currently serves as co-coordinator of the Religion track for LASA 2012. His current research focuses on folk saints in Latin America.