John Lynch, a highly distinguished Latin American scholar and Emeritus Professor of Latin American History at the Institute of Latin American Studies, published New Worlds, A Religious History of Latin America in 2012, on the eve of the election of the first pope from Latin America, Francis I; it provides a very timely introduction to the history of the Catholic Church in Latin America
Over the last three decades, histories of popular politics in Latin America have proliferated. It is not hard to understand why. Elections and liberalism loomed large in the present, and so their history began to assume more importance. Larger trends in the discipline reinforced the shift, as historians tipped the interpretive scales away from socio-economic structures and towards agency.