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Benjamin Reed

Greenleaf Visiting Library Scholar


PhD Student
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Photo: Benjamin  Reed

Benjamin Reed received a Greenleaf Visiting Library Award in Spring 2011 to support research on Devotion to Saint Philip Neri in Mexico City, 1659-1821: Religion, Politics, Spirituality and Identity. At the time, he was a doctoral student in the Department of History at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill



Title of Research : Devotion to Saint Philip Neri in Mexico City, 1659-1821: Religion, Politics, Spirituality and Identity

While at UNM, he drew upon library archives in relation to a larger dissertation project examining the history of the Congregation of the Oratory in colonial Mexico City. Congregation members, known as Oratorians or Padres Felipenses, practiced Catholicism guided by the precepts of their Italian patron, Saint Philip Neri (1515-1595). Philip Neri's congregations were unique social institutions in the history of Catholicism. Each Oratorian community enjoyed locally autonomous government by their own elected officials, and acquired many of the benefits of both religious and lay corporations without the burden of formal vows, or professional exclusion from religious offices. After Neri's canonization in 1622, local devotional institutions emerged in Catholic cities worldwide. Reed's research is intended to shed new light on how Oratorians used preaching to significantly shape the formation of patriotic culture and historical writing in colonial Latin America.