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Abelardo de la Cruz

Assistant Professor in Religious Studies
  Carolina Hall 125F

Abelardo de la Cruz is macehualli, a Nahuatl native speaker, and an ixtlamatquetl, a Nahua scholar from Chicontepec, in the Huasteca Veracruzana, Mexico. He is an Assistant Professor of Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His teachings focuses on the Mesoamerican religions and contemporary Indigenous religions of the Americas, with a special emphasis on Nahuatl language, Indigenous devotions, ritual practices and ethnography in Indigenous communities. De la Cruz holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). In 2022 was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Utah. His doctoral dissertation, “Motiochihuanih: Catechists and Prayer Specialists as Religious Leaders Brokering ‘el costumbre’ Nahua in Chicontepec, Veracruz,” examines religion as it is practiced in the township of Chicontepec. He has coauthored multiple monolingual Nahuatl books, including, along with Louise M. Burkhart, Citlalmachiyotl (University of Warsaw Faculty of “Artes Liberales” and IDIEZ, 2017). His next book chapter, which will be published in The Oxford Handbook of Ritual Language by Oxford University Press, discusses the life-cycle rituals that are a component of the Nahua religion of today. He is also collaborating with Molly Bassett in a question-and-answer style conversation about theory and method in the study of Indigenous religious traditions that contributes to the conclusion of her forthcoming book on Mexica tlaquimilolli (sacred bundles). Finally, he is a co-author, with David Tavárez, of a forthcoming critical edition of a Nahuatl commentary on the proverbs of Solomon.
Abelardo de la Cruz