Day of the Dead

In this episode, Kymberli Cook and Ricardo Uriegas discuss the history and origins of Day of the Dead and highlight the unique opportunity Christians have to use the holiday as an on-ramp to the gospel.

About The Table Podcast

The Table is a weekly podcast on topics related to God, Christianity, and cultural engagement brought to you by the Hendricks Center at Dallas Theological Seminary. The show features interviews with guests who are experts on the chosen topic, and each episode is hosted by a member of The Hendricks Center’s team.

Timecodes
03:39
What is Day of the Dead?
06:28
Different Expressions of Day of the Dead
17:51
Day of the Dead in its Current Form
23:49
Day of the Dead as a Consumer Driven Holiday
33:17
Two Biblical Responses to Day of the Dead
36:23
Using Day of the Dead as an Opportunity to Share the Gospel
Transcript

Kymberli Cook: 

Welcome to The Table Podcast, where we discuss issues of God and culture. My name is Kymberli Cook and I'm the assistant director at the Hendricks Center here at DTS. Today we're going to be talking about the Day of the Dead. We're joined by resident expert Ricardo Uriegas, who is a ThM student here on campus at DTS, and does some grading for DTS in espanol and we're just so thrilled to have you here. Thank you. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Oh, thank you. This is quite the honor. I think The Table Podcast, what they do is great, engaging with theological topics and culture, and I feel just very humble to be here, so thank you. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Well, wonderful. Thank you. So I have to say, I asked three to four different people, and those people represented at least two different departments here on campus who we should talk to for Day of the Dead, and every single person that I talked to said Ricardo. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Oh wow. 

Kymberli Cook: 

I am really curious as to why you are considered the local expert on the Day of the Dead. So how did you come to know things about this and why would people be giving me your name? Every single person. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

I think maybe expert would be bit strong, especially since this is a very rich tradition. And when we go into defining it, I'll explain why that's the case, but perhaps it's the fact that I am from Mexico City, born and raised, and on the one hand, Day of the Dead is really everywhere. I will go into detail as it's more than a festivity, it's really part of the thinking. It's really an industry even. So if you're there, if you live there, then you're embedded in it. So that's why it makes it so important to have these discussions about issues that are so part of the culture. On the other hand, I was also raised in a Christian community, in church, so I was able to wrestle with this issue and with the Bible and theology and how to approach it with the congregation and elsewhere in connection or conversation with so many other Christians or Evangelicals that come to different conclusions. So perhaps that's why they thought of it. It could also be the fact that my name sounds very Hispanic and that's it. 

Kymberli Cook: 

I don't think it was that. I think maybe one person might be, but no, not that many. Okay, wonderful. So do they call Mexico City De Effe? Is that right? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

It used to be De Effe. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Oh, but it's not anymore? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

It's not anymore. It officially changed maybe even like five years ago to Ciudad de Mexico because everybody was calling it Mexico City. It's more of a tourist marketing sort of move, I think. And it's also constitutionally changed into a different denomination of sorts and different sort of government and public administration. So now it's Ciudad de Mexico, or by its acronym in English it would be CDMX. So people would say yes, De Effe, but it's no longer called De Effe. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Interesting. Well that's good to know. All right, so Day of the Dead, what is it? Because I think a lot of people, especially here in the United States, we probably only know it via Coco, the Pixar movie. And at least for those of us who live down here in the south, there's often, once you hit this time of year, you see skeletons and that kind of thing, decorated skeletons in the stores and for decorations for Day of the Dead presumably. So that is close to the cap of many people's knowledge. So you said it has a rich history and there is a lot of depth there that I am sure we don't appreciate. So can you help us understand what is it, what's its importance culturally, where does it come from? What's its history? Enlighten us. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Thank you. Well, I will speak about its origins, but first the way I define it, and this is mine, my definition is Day of the Dead is a cultural manifestation of the eschatology of Latin America. Now that has several parts to it. First off, it's a cultural manifestation that expresses it in itself in festivities, but it's much more, it's artistic expressions. It's a way tourism works. It's also, as I mentioned, an industry. So months prior to the actual festivity that we call Day of the Dead, there's already a market and supply and demand of certain products and services and so it's beyond only one or actually two days in the year. 

I also said it's a Latin American thing. So I grew up in Mexico City, so for me it was what Mexico did, but it's really an umbrella term for manifestations all around Central America, South America and North America, so Mexico and now communities in the United States. So it's really rich and it changes from place to place from community to community. So when I speak of Day of the Dead, I might be having something very specific in mind that on the one hand will relate to other expressions in the region, but on the other they will have different ways in which they are commemorating these topics. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Can I pause you right there? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Sure. 

Kymberli Cook: 

I actually thought that it was only in Mexico so that is really interesting to me that it's a Latin American thing. I didn't realize that it was present in other countries and other communities as well. So what does it look like, the different expressions? So can you give me, for us, give us an example of what that would be? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Absolutely. So for instance, in Mexico City you would find the ofrendas which is what Coco, I think, depicts accurately, this set up and organization around building up an altar or an offering to celebrate the festivity. And I'll put it... that's why I won't go ahead of myself just now... but in other countries you would find also parades in which coming from its origins, to which I will be there talking in a sec, they parade... well, currently loaves of bread that represent the death. But that has a history in which... so originally it was really people would petrify their family's corpse before they would bury them and they would parade them through the neighborhood so everybody would be able to express their condolences and perhaps say farewell for one last time. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Grieve as a community. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Exactly. When the Catholic church came and we're going into history now, they really hindered those expressions. So the way in which the indigenous communities were able to approach this was just baking goods and cooking food and in the form of corpses and they would parade those through the cities. So today you have parades of bread, but it's really a rich history. And I'm talking this is more South America, perhaps Ecuador and countries like this. But this is to say different expressions, but the thinking, what lies be behind is the same. And that's what I was speaking about, eschatology. It's a way in which Latin America addresses death, the spiritual realm, the beyond, the end of things. And at the same time, it's their hope system in which they cope with all of this and they try to understand it and make sense of it and again, develop hope from it. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Okay. So what do you mean by, one, just in case anybody's listening who doesn't know, eschatological means end times, looking toward the end times, the study of the end times. So what is it about the Day of the Dead that expresses, or what is it even like the eschatology that you're talking about that undergirds all of this? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

So that would allow us to go into its origins. First I should say, and we could come back to this, that we should address Day of the Dead as it stands today, not its origins, because it is not its origins. And a close parallel perhaps would be Christmas. We celebrate Christmas in a very particular way, here in the West at least, and we associate the festivity of the 25th to the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ but that's probably not when it happened, but we still do, and we create this aura of celebration and worship to the Lord around this date. And perhaps its origins were not as Christian as we might think of them. So Christmas is not its origins, the same way Day of the Dead is also not its origins. So we'll come back to that because it's important to address it as it stands today and how we talk about it biblically, theologically, pastorally should be as how it is today. 

Now have given that disclosure, I think its origins come from both the indigenous communities of Latin America and the Catholic attempt to Christianize the Americas when the Spanish empire came and conquered and colonized. On the one hand, the indigenous communities, it's been established that they had spiritual expressions in which they would attempt or actually have contractual relationships with spiritual forces in exchange... offerings really, or sacrifices, in exchange of fertility, exchange of blessing in general terms, rain, wealth, what it may be. And specifically the way they thought about death was that it was not the end. It was definitely something that would go beyond in a different reality. So what they would expect of the departed is that they would go into a journey. So there's a progression and there's even growth in that sense into the beyond. 

And that journey was hazardous and it had obstacles and that was part of that progression and learning until they would find some place of rest. However, that would not be final because the way in which this system develops hope is, and I think Coco really does a good job depicting this, is by being remembered. By being remembered by the family members or the community, because if you're not remembered then you never existed. And even in the movie, there's depictions of that. Those who are not remembered are like a pariah of the society and they're at some point gone. Coco stops there, but the eschatology of the indigenous communities would say there's even more after that. So even though they're gone, they're still in a process of growth or- 

Kymberli Cook: 

Essentially their soul is not annihilated. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Exactly. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Yes, okay. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

That's a great way to put it. And at some point they would be able to interact with the living. So what the tradition of Day of the Dead would claim is that if you follow certain patterns the departed would be able to come back and have a conversation with you. Now, that could be they're very benevolent, as Coco is depicting, or it could be really not, so that the living would be offering goods to appease those spirits that would be coming back, so it could be both. Right? So that was the tradition, that was the eschatology and then comes the Catholic church around 500 years ago, at the same time that the Reformation was happening in Europe the Spanish Empire was conquering the Americas. 

And with them the Catholic church tried to adapt, change, modify the culture of the indigenous communities. So you end up with a byproduct of syncretism. What Day of the Dead started to be was really this syncretism, and this is why some expressions are not only in Latin America but in European countries because you have a strong presence of the Catholic church there, Spain, France, and they have similar expressions today of Day of the Dead in Latin America. So with this indigenous thinking about the beyond, plus the Catholic thinking of the end of times and the hope in the Lord Jesus Christ and the hope of resurrection, giving them the benefit of the doubt, they would come into trying to take indigenous thinking and traditions into a more Christian way of looking at death basically and mourning and so it developed. 

And again, that was 500 years ago, this manifestation has been evolving. Fast forward to the 20th century in which there was a global intent to find your roots and develop a national pride. And therefore we had also the World War I, specifically, then World War II, but this global tendency to fund national pride. So there was a big search of archeological discoveries by governments trying to find things from the past that would tell them what they were. Well, Mexico... and this is what I know, I couldn't speak more about the other countries in the region... but they did a lot of those discoveries and they made a huge push to celebrate their origins. So Day of the Dead was part of that. It was a tangible way in which the Mexican community or population could feel unified, could feel attached, could feel prideful of their ancestry. 

And it really became a more consumeristic marketside festivity than what it stood before. So really Day of the Dead today is that byproduct of that syncretism and also this attempt of the 20th century to discover your national roots. What we have today is more an attempt to... that speaks or allures the markets, allures consumerism and tourism. Mexico is very visited in this time of year and I wouldn't be fearful to say that perhaps it's the same with other countries. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Okay. So I want to go back for a second to the era when syncretism was happening. What happened? How did those two eschatologies, what does that look like when they're functionally put together? Or is it just different because everybody, that's kind of how syncretism works, it's kind of messy? But how did that mesh? So are the believers the only spirits that come back? I'm assuming that's not the case, but what does that look like? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Well, so on the one hand you have the indigenous beliefs in which there's an existence of the beyond, but the spiritual reality, as I said, is not always endearing as Coco does that it's attractive and colorful. And it's not really that, it's more threatening, which perhaps we could say it's the reality of a spiritual darkness. And they had that. And again, the offerings were given to appease these forces. The Catholic church trying to evangelize and attempt to share the gospel there, brought a more... the idea of light. And also I see that mixture expressing itself in the idea of the dead is not forever gone. There's a spiritual reality to him or her living beyond. And then if certain things, activities, are made in their favor, they may be able to move forward. And you end up seeing the influence of ideas like purgatory, in that sense. 

Also, Day of the Dead is actually two days. It's the 1st of November and 2nd of November. And the Catholic church established that the first one would be for the children that would die, and then the 2nd of November would be for grown adults that departed. So that's also an influence of the Catholic church. These two dates are the ones that are seen celebrated in the European countries that I mentioned, because that's the Catholic influence. Now in all honesty, and this is why we were laughing that I was the expert, quote, unquote, very little of that remains. Very little of the original idea and even the byproduct of the syncretism remains. What we have today is more the result of this marketing attempt from the 20th century and onwards. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Is it just like a remembering of... so we're talking nowadays, what you're saying... is it just a remembering of those who have gone on then if you're not trying to meet with or appease the spirits or those beyond, or if you're not concerned about helping those souls of those you've known and are remembering, is it more just about remembering those who have passed? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Yeah, that's a great question because that's really what stands in the current debate. How should we address this, especially for Christians. Can we celebrate this? Is it more than just a day of festivities? Mexico City is a good sample, so there's a good portion of the city that is middle class or upper class that's also more secular than religious and that would engage in this festivity with no thinking of anything but a party. So they would look at this as only cultural heritage that is worth keeping, that it really talks about the history of the country and that it could even be fun and sometimes an excuse to party, and very benevolent. And then even in- 

Kymberli Cook: 

So in that way a lot like Christmas is in secular United States. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Yes, exactly. Exactly, an opportunity to gather, yeah. 

Kymberli Cook: 

There's hope and good will and that kind of thing as an underlying theory, but pretty much it's just a reason to party and get things. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Right, and nothing much than that. Which is why I think Coco did a great job at portraying the other part, which is also in Mexico City and in other cities, but mostly I would say in the rural areas of the country, in which there is a belief in that a spiritual reality is at hand around that festivity and that the spirits of the departed are able to come back. So I grew up in the city and part of my rearing when I was a child, remembering as I was prompted with this issue, I went to a private school in Mexico, but it was in a more detached area of the city so kind of a suburb. But perhaps you think of a suburb here in the US you think wealth, that was not really the case over there. 

So the community in which I grew in was highly, highly protective of this festivity, and some of them, I think, were really defending that it was an opportunity to make amends and perhaps meet again with those that had departed. So it really depends where you are and it really depends who you are commemorating these dates with because they might be thinking there's nothing to it, or they might be thinking this is my opportunity to make amends again or meet again, and in that way appease the spirits that are coming back. So, it's really case by case. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Okay, all right. So let's take those different cases and kind of walk through them biblically, theologically, because if it's different in different places then it helps people who are listening and quite frankly me to think through what it is that you're seeing and what it is that people might be talking about or participating in. So let's take the consumeristic version first and the idea that it's kind of just a remembrance and a recognition of... is it a recognition of Latino heritage, is that correct? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Yeah, I mean evidently. And again more of a national pride. I honestly didn't know that it was such a huge expression across regions until now that I was able to wrestle with this issue again. So it's really more of, I think, an attempt to recover what's the national pride. It's more that and that celebration of culture. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Okay, and so what scripture or theology do we want to consider when we're thinking of a believer celebrating Day of the Dead in that sense? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Okay, so there's plenty, actually. Let me go back to Coco for a second. I was watching it recently. 

Kymberli Cook: 

I watched it right before this too. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Okay, there we go. And I laughed at the jokes, I really enjoyed the story. I think it's fantastic how they depict that the departed go through customs in order to come back to the living, that sort of thing. So a really smart way of depicting that. But I couldn't avoid thinking it's really dangerous what they're conveying, even if it's a game or colorful or bright, this bridge between the spirits that have gone and this tangible realm, I was not comfortable at that at all. They have this bridge in Coco, very bright and beautiful and that's amazing animation. I was feeling uncomfortable every time I was looking at it because it represents the reality of spiritual darkness amongst us, which is what the Bible teaches often. 

You look at Ephesians and how Paul is portraying or painting an image of how there's a spiritual reality to our material reality. On the one hand we are in Christ, those who have believed in him, but we're in the heavenlies. On the other there are spiritual forces that are attempting to attack the believers and we can go back and they're attempting to attack... they've been attempting to attack the plan of God since ever, and attacking Israel and whatnot. 

Kymberli Cook: 

And God's people all along have been commanded essentially to have nothing to do with them. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Yes, so that's very clear. That did not happen when I was watching Soul, the other Pixar movie that is addressing with the spiritual really. Perhaps because this is not my cognitive environment, it's not speaking to me in ways that are very specific. I grew up in this debate, how should Christians address this when it's origins at least are clearly evil? 

Kymberli Cook: 

At odds with Christian faith. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Exactly. And what you would find some people arguing, before going back to scripture, is that even though those origins are back in history, some places in the country still addresses that festivity spiritually. And delving into Corinthians for example, Paul says idols are nothing, but if you worship them, you engage with them, then spiritual forces take advantage of that and get involved with you and participate with you. So if the celebration has that element, perhaps it's not from you, perhaps you're not doing anything about it, but if who you're commemorating it with is trying to have that experience, you might be on the sidelines of that. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Do you think that there would be some kind of correlation with that situation with what you were talking about with regard to idols and eating the meat offered to idols? It may not mean nothing to you, but there may be something for somebody else that's a really big stumbling block. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Absolutely, absolutely. Again, it depends where you are. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Roughly, to please people who write commentaries on that passage, don't look too closely into that. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

So some of the food that is put at ofrendas, the offerings, which in theory is those foods that the departed enjoyed while they were living, and that's why you find a diverse array of goods and foods and drinking and toys for the children and whatnot. Some people would eat them after they're being offered. Okay, so perhaps I should go back, because I'm assuming everybody has watched Coco and perhaps that's not the case. 

Kymberli Cook: 

They may not have, yeah. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

The festivity says that allegedly the departed have gone away and they have an opportunity to come back. Unlike Coco, they don't come through this beautiful bridge, they come through hurdles and specifically they cross a river. And they get a dog, which is I think what Coco's trying to point at, they get a dog to help them cross and that's why dogs, A, are part of the Mexican culture since forever, B, are the best friend of humankind and C, allegedly can see the departed. 

So if the living place the necessary elements and not just the pictures like in Coco, then they will be able to come back. So that bridge from Coco, that beautiful orange bridge, in Mexico it's called flora de cempasúchil flower, and it has a very distinct smell. After a while it might be not so pleasant, but it's really rich and I like it. That smell and the bright color is supposed to light the path of the departed. And when they come, they're supposed to nourish by what you've placed on the table or you're supposed to appease them. It's really how you look at it. So I mentioned that because- 

Kymberli Cook: 

You were saying you were actually taking what I had said about the passage of food offered to idols, I think you were actually saying it might at times actually be very literally the situation. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Exactly. That's a fantastic example because some people would not eat what has been offered to the dead after those days of festivities, but some families would, avoiding to throw them away. And what they claim is those foods have no flavor after those couple days. So you have a very relatable festivity to what Paul is writing and you are participating if you're eating from that. Let's pretend you're not participating of the foods of the offering. There's a lot of candy going around these two days of festivities that are in the shape of skulls or a full skeleton, chocolate and sugar and you name it. So some would say that's participating. Some would say you're not. This would throw me into other scripture. I think a lot of Daniel, and I think a lot of Esther. Growing up in this Evangelical community in Mexico, which by the way it's a minority over there, the country is around 80% Catholic and 5% Protestant, of which Evangelicals are even less. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Not even conservative Evangelical Protestant. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Yeah, exactly. So being a minority really makes you look at things differently. Anyway, how the Evangelicals have reacted is looking at the example of Daniel saying Daniel was able to avoid participation in the culture that was attacking them or engulfing them, the Israelites in that case in the exile, and God blessed them for that. So perhaps this is how we should approach this. We should not participate at all and we should just refrain, which is not as easy in a country with 80% of people that are not believers and with a festivity that really speaks to their national identity. Everybody either celebrates or is close to a celebration of Day of the Dead. And in schools growing up, you would be, as a team building exercise, required to build an ofrenda with your classmates and then have a contest to see which one's the prettiest or which one has the right elements or whatnot. 

So you really have to participate at some point or another at least growing up. So Christians have, a good group of Evangelicals have decided to refrain and take the heat, so to speak, and I know of people who have flunked or failed at school because they wouldn't participate. And they see this as their Christian response and the suffering that they do for their faith. I believe that if you are in a position in context in which it's clearly a practice that is hindering your conscious or that is going against the gospel, that is clearly spiritual, then that could be the right response. Now, I think of Esther. Esther, it's a very similar context in terms of the culture that have engulfed the Israelites and she is not as able as Daniel, who's a male, who's a noble man, to be able to refrain. 

Kymberli Cook: 

He's privileged. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Exactly. So Daniel has a different sort of a power or agency and Esther doesn't. So you see her and Mordecai being much more subtle and at times even you would expect the same clarity that Daniel had from that but they don't. They act differently. And when God allows them to take a stand in favor of their people, and you could say the gospel or Evangelicals et cetera, then they do, also in a very subtle way, and God blesses them for that. So I think another response from Evangelicals, and this happens in which you really cannot refrain, in which doing so would be actually hindering your opportunity of sharing the true hope of the Lord Jesus Christ, then perhaps a more subtle resistance that allows for certain interaction with the festivity would be the way to go. 

Kymberli Cook: 

So what would that subtle interaction look like? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

I have a very close example. As I said, in school you are encouraged, perhaps forced, to build an ofrenda with your classmates. And it's quite an event because you are in competition with the rest of the school. So one month before the date you start bringing things to the classroom, you start designing, you pick up a celebrity that has departed to make the ofrenda to that person. It's not a familial thing, it's more like a cultural thing. So Frida Kahlo or Diego Rivera or other Mexican celebrities of the past. And you would come with your classmates and the teacher and build that ofrenda. Well, that happened to me every year. And growing up, my dad really exposed us to be able to be critical so he would allow us to participate at times and he would be very careful and to tell us what it could mean and all of that. 

Well, this particular year the organizer had just a mishap or she had trouble coming up with the event and it was going to be terrible for her personally and perhaps for the school. Others would say that was fantastic, that was probably what should have happened. No festival for anybody. But when my mom saw this, she decided to come alongside of her and help her through the hassle of perhaps sleepless nights to be able to help her out. For this other person, this was not a cult to the dead, for this person it was something she needed to get done, and my mom saw this as an opportunity to show the love of the Lord and she helped her. Unlike my dad, my mom is very, very in opposition to Day of the Dead. So that was a good, I think- 

Kymberli Cook: 

That was a big deal for her, I see that. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

It was a big deal for her, and because she's open about it was a good deal of love for the other person. So because Day of the Dead is an eschatology, it is a way of thinking about the dead and it's a hope system. It's how people try to wrestle with the cause of death, the reason of death, the purpose of death. We have a great opportunity to talk about the true hope that God has given us, and not just in being with him after dying, but physical restoration and an actual return and the recreation of everything. If for the sake of argument, the eschatology of Día de los Muerto would stand, the dead would go and come back to the same realities of sin in this physical world. But what the gospel offers in contrast is an improvement, in degree and in kind, to a physical reality here. So it's a fantastic segue to speak about the gospel. 

Kymberli Cook: 

And even the dead don't have to go through any hurdles. They don't have to be crossing any river. They don't have to find a dog. They don't have to do anything. It's all been done for them by Christ. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

And he remembers them. Those that perhaps didn't have a family who don't remember them, therefore they can't come back, Christ remembers them. They're His. So I think it is a good opportunity to share the gospel. If however, you do not engage in it at all, I think if you don't take this as an opportunity to love and to share the gospel and to understand where the culture is, the culture is trying to resolve these questions. They're trying to grasp reality of people who have gone and they will eventually go. So if you're able to discern that, then you should speak out. You should do something about it. If you don't, and I'm sure there's many Evangelicals that do not, then perhaps that is actually the wrong response. I would rather see them refraining because that speaks out of a conviction, or engaging subtly but to be able to speak out of their convictions than not doing it at all. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Fascinating. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

It is very rich. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Fascinating, yes, it is. Okay, so we are just about out of time, but just to kind of summarize. So the Day of the Dead and your explanation of it is that it is really a cultural manifestation of a Latino eschatology. Correct? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Yes. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Is that more or less... did I butcher it? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Yeah, that's actually what it is, yeah. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Okay, good. And there are different scriptural examples, Daniel, Esther, as to how it might be engaged by believers. But the clear line that none of the believers want to cross is as far as actually celebrating it in a sense of offering any kind of appeasement to the spirits and doing it in a way that is attempting to engage, at least the historic origins, of the spirits because that seems to be delving into the darker elements of the spiritual world. Is that correct? 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

That's correct, because even though today's not its origins, there's some of those aspects that remain. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Absolutely. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

And some people, there's some places in the country that do address it in that way. 

Kymberli Cook: 

And we should all never underestimate the spiritual realm and what's really going on there. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Absolutely. 

Kymberli Cook: 

And yes, okay, awesome. Well you know what, Ricardo, I can see why I was giving your name by multiple departments. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Well, they're too kind, that's what happened. 

Kymberli Cook: 

Thank you so much for joining us today. 

Ricardo Uriegas: 

Thank you. 

Kymberli Cook: 

This has been absolutely fascinating and we want to thank you who are listening and just remind you to join us next time when we discuss issues of God and culture. 

Kymberli Cook
Kymberli Cook is the Assistant Director of the Hendricks Center, overseeing the workflow of the department, online content creation, Center events, and serving as Giftedness Coach and Table Podcast Host. She is also a doctoral student in Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, pursuing research connected to unique individuality, the image of God, and providence. When she is not reading for work or school, she enjoys coffee, cooking, and spending time outdoors with her husband and daughters.
Ricardo Uriegas
Ricardo Uriegas is a ThM student, with and emphasis in New Testament, at Dallas Theological Seminary. Both him and his wife Pilar aspire to serve in Theological Education for Latin America upon graduation.   Ricardo holds a BA in Political Science and a BA in International Relations from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, in Mexico City, and a Masters in Online Education from the Universität Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.   Ricardo belongs to a Christian family involved in vocational ministry for five generations. In fact, his grandfather is a DTS alumni who graduated in 1974¸ when the Seminary turned half a century.   Born and raised in Mexico City, Ricardo experienced firsthand the reality of the Day of the Death, a rich Mexican tradition that provokes different opinions in the Evangelical community in his home country and elsewhere.    
Contributors
Kymberli Cook
Ricardo Uriegas
Details
November 1, 2022
cross-cultural, cultural engagement, hispanic, holiday
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