Alfredo Garcia Garza

Credentials: BA, Texas A&M University / BS, Texas A&M University / MDiv, Harvard Divinity School / Ph.D., Harvard University (present)

Denomination: Catholic

Specific Field: Religions of the Americas

Biography:

During his Master of Divinity program at Harvard Divinity School, Alfredo was inspired to research the irreplaceable presence and powers of curanderos (magico-religious healers), spirits, gods, and God in the lives of Mexican migrants. His doctoral research focuses on the life, healing ceremonies, and ritual legacy of El Niño Fidencio, a renowned “folk” saint and curandero of the early 20th century. Alfredo grew up in an ejido, an agricultural town, in Coahuila MX—where his family introduced him to a local misión/church where El Niño Fidencio’s ceremonies were carried out by cajas or materias; ritual specialists possessed by the spirit of the original healer. Over time, Alfredo began to witness the ties between the healing work of Fidencio’s ritual descendants and the trauma suffered by Mexican migrants. Grounded in the phenomenological methods of comparative religion and existential anthropology, his work seeks to understand how migrants recover—through ritual action—from ongoing political and spiritual violence in the US-México borderlands.