Study Guide

In the Time of the Butterflies Religion

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You might not expect a novel about a group of communist revolutionaries to have all that much to do with religion, but In the Time of the Butterflies finds a way to marry the Catholic Church and the political ideals of its characters.

In the Dominican Republic in the 1950's, the Catholic Church underwent a transformation, from supporting (or at least turning a blind eye to) the regime's atrocities to outright denouncing them. One main character, Patria, represents this come-to-Jesus moment in her own spiritual and political evolution.

Questions About Religion

  1. Who helps Patria reconcile her religion and the revolution?
  2. What is the role of the church in the dictatorship?
  3. When Patria goes on a pilgrimage she regains her faith—what changes for her?

Chew on This

The Catholic Church's commitment to human rights and justice inspires the sisters.

The Catholic Church's silent support of Trujillo is what gets the country into a mess in the first place.

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