Does Christianity have competition in "Bless Me, Ultima"?  If so, how does Antonio resolve it?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This book is a book about culture and a book about growing up, a bildungsroman (coming of age story).  As Antonio grows up and goes through school, he must try to reconcile what he has been taught at home with what is being taught at school with what he experiences in the world at large.  In doing this, he is - all as children are - trying to determine his own identity and establish his own belief structure.

One of the big issues for him is that of religion.  Religion has been a source of identity for him.  He is a Christian and he has been raised to believe in Christian morals.  However, Ultima introduces him to a pagan God, and he sees Ultima perform acts of healing.  This challenges his belief that Christianity is best.  The influence of Florence the athiest during catechisms also have an impact.  Her questions make Antonio further question is unwavering beliefs. 

Ultimately, Antonio does what most children do.  He takes bits and pieces from all his teachings and forges his own path.  He does not abandon his Chritian teachings, but he embraces them alongside the spirituality that Ultima has taught him.