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Phil and Grandsons of Revolutionary General
Maximo Castillo during Radio Interview, El Paso, TX

Historical Studies & the History of Religion as Conflict

Philip Stover is a historian specializing in the study of revolutionary and post-revolutionary Mexico. His books, articles, and presentations focus on the impact of religious and other sectarian influences on that country, especially in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries. Philip retired to his home in Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua after serving as an associate professor and senior administrator in both higher education and K-12 institutions from New Jersey to California. He is the author of the book series, The Search for the Soul of Mexico – Religion and Revolution. The first two books in the series are available in both English and Spanish. The first book won a national award in the United States for non-fiction literature. Phil has written and spoken extensively on the history of both the Mexican Mormon and Mennonite Colonies in Chihuahua and Sonora.

Philip is a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Scholars. He travels to universities and historical societies in both the United States and Mexico to speak on subjects related to the religious history of Mexico and the history of religion as conflict. He serves on local municipal historical committees, as well as lecturing at the Mexican Federal School of Anthropology and History. Philip holds a PhD in Mexican history and religion from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. His doctoral thesis was entitled “Religion and Conflicts in 1930's Chihuahua – Violence and the Struggle for Lost Patrimony.” He is a member of the Council on Faith and History, The Mormon History Association, and the Council on Latin American History. Ambrose Bierce was a famous writer from the United States who fought with Francisco Villa in the Revolution. His fate and burial place in Mexico is unknown. Philip Stover is now happy to take over the title as a modern-day-not-so-famous “Gringo Viejo” in Mexico!

Phil founded in 2023 as a subsidiary of Rio Vista Group, LLC a New Mexico based entity. The purpose of is to support and present historical literature and conferences about the borderlands region, especially that of northwestern Mexico and southwestern United States. This focus includes revolutionary and post-revolutionary studies, together with those related to indigenous and migrant populations, both into and out of Mexico.

Phil has a special interest in religious and other conflicts, especially those related to patrimony and natural resource (land and water) usage. These interests include supporting work in the migration of Mennonites, Mormons (LDS and others), Protestants (Pentecostals and others), South Africans, refugees from the Spanish Civil War, and others into Mexico. The growth of Santa Muerte in the borderlands area is also of interest. The history of the various Apache groups, Suma, Chinarra, and Opata are also of interest to our organization. We welcome all those with an interest in any of these study areas to join with us in our work. 

To see and download a representative sample of his historical presentations in both English and Spanish see the Presentations page of this website.

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©Rio Vista Group LLC - Stronger Foundations

Deming, NM and Mata Ortiz, CH

All photos used with permission, are in the public domain, or are property of Phil Stover

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