This book provides a critical sociology of religion in Latin America. Its purpose is to discuss the notion of religion as part of social, cultural, and political processes in capitalist societies, drawing on the classics of sociological thought (Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Gramsci). Thus, churches are analyzed as organized institutions of religious mediation intimately linked to the production of social, cultural, and political hegemony in Latin America. The Catholic Church, the dominant church in the region, is analyzed in terms of its different faces, changes, and transformations from conquest and colonization through the changing winds of Vatican II to the revolutionary experiences of the popular church in the 1970s and 1980s.
This work will be of interest to scholars of Latin American studies, politics, religion, culture, and sociology. It also speaks to theologians and philosophers working in Latin America.
About the Author
CARLOS ALBERTO TORRES is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California at Los Angeles. Widely published in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, he is the author of The Politics of Nonformal Education in Latin America (Praeger, 1990) and (with D. Morales-Gomez) The State, Corporatist Politics, and Educational Policy Making in Mexico (Praeger, 1990).
RICHARD A. YOUNG is a Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Alberta. He has published widely in Spanish and English on Latin American literature.
Table of Contents
The Critique of Religion in Marx
Religion as a Primitive Phenomenon: Emile Durkheim
Religion, Economic Rationality, and Civilization: Max Weber's Theses
Religion as Historical Bloc: The Perspective of Antonio Gramsci
Religion and Disciplinary Order: On Social Reproduction
The Popular Church and the Process of Conscientization: Reflections on Possibilities and Contradictions
Internal Tendencies of the Catholic Church: Typologies and Extrapolations
Hypothesis for a Theoretical Framework for Religion and Churches in Latin America
The Catholic Church in Argentina