Matters related to disease, race, bias, power, and religious friction have been at the forefront during much of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage countries around the world. It has led to “infectious racism” against people who are of Chinese or Asian descent, and the virus has disproportionately affected communities of color in the United States. The murder of George Floyd has catalyzed protests to defend the conviction that Black Lives Matter. Religious tensions in the United States and elsewhere continue to bristle, with the pandemic a major factor in inflaming or reigniting them. Amid these challenges, I read Idolizing Mary: Maya-Catholic Icons in Yucatán, Mexico, a detailed examination of the Virgin of Itzmal, whose history intersects with issues similar to those outlined above. Amara Solari’s important book is thus timely and insightful into both the past...

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