On “The Anthropologist’s Project”

As participants, we are engaged in the everyday work of being us. The who of us uxmalexpands out into artifacts in our hands. We respond to each other’s actions in the conventionalized forms that validate our presence. We take for granted this is the way the world should be. We are very much in-place. As anthropologists, on the other hand, our goal is to interpret what others are doing. . . . The goal of our watching, however, is NOT to disengage ourselves to the point that we strip the actions of their meaning and thereby turn them into isolated things, into objects present-at-hand.

Miles Richardson, Being-in Christ and Putting Death in Its Place



Samson, C. Mathews. 2007. Re-enchanting the World: Maya Protestantism in the Guatemalan Highlands (University of Alabama Press).


Samson, C. Mathews. 2018. Embodying Blackness in Latin American Religion. Review essay. Latin American Research Review 53(2):418-424. DOI:

     . 2017. Reimaging the World: Maya Religious Practices and the Construction of Ethnicity in a Mesoamerican Frame. In “The Only True People”: Linking Maya Identities Past and Present. Bethany J. Meyers and Lisa LeCount, ed., 27-46 (University of Colorado Press).

     . 2012. Interrogating Religion and Human Security in Guatemala. In Religion and Human Security: A Global Perspective, James K. Wellman, Jr., and Clark Lombardi, ed., 150-171 (Oxford University Press).

     . 2012. Searching for the Spirit: Researching Spirit-Filled Religion in Guatemala.  In Building Bridges in Anthropology: Understanding, Acting, Teaching, and Theorizing, Robert Shanafelt, ed., 187-212. Southern Anthropological Society Proceedings, no. 40. (Newfound Press, University of Tennessee Libraries).  (Link to volume:

     . 2011. Conversion at the Boundaries of Religion, Identity, and Politics in Pluricultural Guatemala, In Beyond Syncretism and Conversion: Indigenous Encounters with Missionary Christianity, 1800-2000, David Lindenfeld and Miles Richardson, ed., 51-77 (Berghahn Books).

     . 2009. The Word of God and “Our Words”: the Bible and Translation in a Mam Maya Context. In The Social Life of Scriptures: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Biblicism, James S. Bielo, ed., 64-79 (Rutgers University Press, Signifying (on) Scriptures Series).

      . 2008. From War to Reconciliation: Guatemalan Evangelicals and the Transition to Democracy, 1982-2001. In Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Latin America, Paul Freston, ed., 66-96 (Oxford University Press).

      . 2003. The Martyrdom of Manuel Saquic: Constructing Maya Protestantism in the Face of War in Contemporary Guatemala. Le Fait Missionnaire: Social Science and Missions 13:41-74.

Samson, Mateo. 1999. Interpretando la identidad religiosa: La cultura maya y la religión evangélica bajo una perspectiva etnográfica. Memorias del segundo congreso sobre el pop wuj. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala: TIMACH.

Samson, C. Mathews. 1991. Texts and Context: Social Context and the Content of Liturgical Texts in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Human Mosaic 25(1,2):25-35.


Samson, Matt.  2017.  Immigration: Implications for Organizations.  The SAGE Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2nd edition, ed., Steven G. Rogelberg, 685-689 (Sage Publications, Inc.). DOI:

Samson, C. Mathews. 2015. Guatemala . In Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices, vol. 3: Countries, Greece to Philippines, 2nd edition, Thomas Riggs, ed., 19-31 (Gale/Cengage Learning).