The first conference of the Evangelical Studies Program at Baylor ISR will be held this October 7th-9th on the History of Latin American Evangelicalism. The Catholic Church in Latin America began with the Spanish colonization of the Americas and continues up to the present day. Religion has been a remarkably dynamic force in Latin America since the 1960s, paralleling the shift from dictatorship to elected government. Roman Catholicism continued to be a powerful force in the second half of the 20th century. Afro-Latin Americans increasingly questioned the long-accepted notion that racism did not exist in their countries and that such discrimination as existed was merely class-based; across Latin America, they formed social movements demanding their economic and political rights. The essay addresses monographs on religion in colonial Spanish America and Portuguese America; on gender, ethnicity, faith, and resistance; on the growth of Protestantism in the twentieth century; and on the political consequences of the emergence … Relations of the Roman Catholic Church with the state and with society at large were meanwhile affected, however, by new currents within the church itself. Religion in Latin America Abstract This issue, edited by LACC Director of Research and Colombian Studies Institute Director, Ana Maria Bidegain, presents today’s Latin American and Caribbean religious landscape through different lenses: According to survey data from Pew Research Center 2014, 69% of the Latin American population is Catholic and 19% is Protestant,[1] rising to 22% in Brazil[3] and over 40% in much of Central America. The peasant uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, was the best-known example of greater militancy among indigenous peoples. The History of the Catholic Church in Latin America offers a concise yet far-reaching synthesis of this institution’s role from the earliest contact between the Spanish and native tribes until the modern day, the first such historical overview available in English. With a primary emphasis on individual spiritual improvement and salvation and a closeness between ministers and laity that neither traditional nor renewed Catholicism could match, the Protestants rapidly increased their numbers throughout Latin America. Yet women did take advantage of increased educational and employment opportunities to gain more control of their lives. Also, the poorest countries of western Europe enjoyed greater per capita income than the wealthiest in Latin America. As in most of the world, furthermore, equal pay for women remained elusive. Protestantism was not strong among traditional elites or in intellectual circles, but its adherents were beginning to attain positions of influence. In the cities, where literacy and then access to television were nearly universal, people were exposed more and more quickly to new trends and ideas emanating from the United States or western Europe; to a lesser degree the same forces, and the continuing improvement of road transportation, were also decreasing the isolation of rural Latin Americans. Latin America in general…, Finally, Cold War rivalry and Third World problems intersected devastatingly in America’s own backyard. Who would you like to send this to * Before the era of Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy, the United States had frequently been accused of meddling too much in the affairs of other states in the hemisphere. In parts of northern Latin America, a factor contributing to this decline was emigration to the more prosperous and politically stable United States, where large metropolitan centres—such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami—were home to large and growing Latin American communities. Britannica now has a site just for parents! This brand of activism met with general disapproval from Latin American governments, especially military regimes, some of which brutally persecuted the clergy involved. As is expected, spirituality and religious practices were distinct factors in the cultural adjustment for Blacks in Central and Latin America, and the Caribbean. The themes in these powerful passages are echoed throughout Religion in Latin America. In most of Latin America women achieved full legal equality with men only gradually and usually later than winning the vote. Though the conditions of pre-Columbian America and 15th-century Iberia are beyond the scope of Latin American history proper, they must be given consideration in that connection. Your email address * Please enter a valid email address. This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 17:16. In 2000 a coup led by indigenous Indian leaders and military members briefly toppled the ruling government, removing the president from power. Its influence could be seen in the continuing prohibition, almost everywhere, of abortion and in the tendency to play down official support (which nevertheless existed) for birth control campaigns. By Olivia Singer. In Latin America, the Spanish and Portuguese imported and spread Catholicism, the predominant religion, starting with the voyages of Columbus in 1492. Children of the Sun and Reason of State: Myths, Ceremonies and Conflicts in Inca Peru. [8][9] This movement is increasingly attracting Latin America's middle classes. However, the coup leaders eventually agreed to let Vice President Gustavo Noboa Bejerano ascend to the presidency, which effectively ended the coup. A Brief History of Catholicism in Latin America. Indigenous creeds and rituals are still practiced in countries with large percentages of Amerindians, such as Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. The liberation of Spanish and Portuguese America from European political control began a radically new period of Latin American church history. [11][12] According to the 2014 Pew survey, the 46 countries and territories of Latin America and the Caribbean comprised, in absolute terms, the world's second-largest Christian population (24%; including U.S., British, Dutch and French territories), after the 50 countries and territories of Europe (26%; including Russia, excluding Turkey), but just before the 51 countries and territories of Sub-Saharan Africa (24%; including Mauritania, excluding Sudan).[13]. By the beginning of the 21st century, the population of Latin America and the Caribbean was more than 550 million, with about four-fifths of the population residing in urban areas. MacCormack, Sabine. Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America, Hardcover by Garrard-Burnett, Virginia (EDT); Freston, Paul (EDT); Dove, Stephen C. (EDT), ISBN 0521767334, ISBN-13 9780521767330, Brand New, Free shipping in the US In addition, coinciding as it did with the impetus given to leftist movements by the Cuban Revolution, the call for renewal inspired an influential minority of priests and nuns to seek a synthesis of religious faith and political commitment under the banner of liberation theology. It also divided the church, and without gaining the widespread popular allegiance that “liberationist” clergy had hoped for. Following the tumultuous 1960s, liberation theology, a new method of viewing religion, was taken up by many Latin American Catholics. The Creoles formed about 20 percent of the population in 1800 and exercised control over the mestizos (mixed Indian and w… Yet, with regard to such social indicators as literacy and life expectancy, Costa Rica, Cuba, and the nations of the Southern Cone approximated the standards of the industrialized world, and, for Latin America as a whole, the lag was substantially less than in 1900 or 1950. A good account of the impact of Christianity on native cultures in Latin America. [10] Anglicanism also has a long and growing presence in Latin America. Latin America : A Cultural History . Yet even more striking was the appearance of a strong nationwide Indianist movement in Ecuador, which sought not only immediate improvements for Native Americans but also formal recognition that Ecuador was a multiethnic, multicultural nation. Arciniegas also covers such topics as the Jesuit and Franciscan missions and the position of priests in relation to the native people. Despite the expansion (sometimes impressive, sometimes not) of the middle strata of Latin American society, by the late 20th century, progress toward reducing historically high levels of social inequality was disappointing almost everywhere save in communist Cuba. According to survey data from Pew Research Center 2014, 69% of the Latin American population is Catholic and 19% is Protestant, rising to 22% in Brazil and over 40% in much of Central America. The culture…. One of them, General Efraín Ríos Montt, briefly served as military dictator of Guatemala (1982–83). During the mid-20 th century, disenchanted members of the clergy and the oppressed classes of Latin America united together to reinterpret the role of the Catholic Church in everyday society and to reclaim religion towards the pursuit of social justice. For many years after gaining independence, religious ideology in Latin America almost exclusively was associated with whichever political party was in power. Religion in Latin America is characterized by the historical predominance of Catholic Christianity, increasing Protestant influence, as well as by the presence of other world religions. D'Antonio, William V., and Frederick B. Pike, jt. This book will challenge all of your assumptions of history, religion, and Latin America. In the later part of the 20th century, however, the rise of Liberation theology has challenged such close alliances between church and state. According to the detailed Pew Research Center multi-country survey in 2014, 69% of the Latin American population is Catholic and 19% is Protestant, rising to 22% in Brazil and over 40% in much of Central America. More than half of these are converts. eds. College Park, MD: University of Maryland at College Park, 1990. The region’s principal cities grew more slowly than intermediate centres; in Venezuela, for example, Maracaibo and Valencia were expanding faster than Caracas. This religious history of Latin America spanning over five centuries can be seen as an example of this longue durée history, and presents both problems and strengths. The paradigm of Latin American religious modernity is rather an evolving dance among political, social and religious forces in a region experiencing the longest democratic process in its history. During the war the State Department endorsed all-American oil concessions, but, in accordance with the principle of reciprocity, Hughes instructed his Latin-American ambassadors in 1921 to respect foreign interests. The belief in and practice of Christianity gradually replaced the native belief systems; at the beginning of the twenty-first … New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967, p. 50. Its influence could be seen in the continuing prohibition, almost everywhere, of abortion and in the tendency to play down official support (which nevertheless existed) for birth control campaigns. The Aztec religion was notorious for its practice of human sacrifice. Falling birth rates likewise indicated that women were pursuing new options. The indigenous world and the word “Indian”, Conquest society in the central mainland areas, Institutional, legal, and intellectual developments, Spanish America in the age of the Bourbons, The north and the culmination of independence, Political models and the search for authority, Political and economic transitions, 1850–70, The United States and Latin America in the Cold War era, Latin America at the end of the 20th century. The movement of renewal and reform undertaken by the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) favoured mainstream Catholic teaching and practice at the expense of popular “folk Catholicism” yet led to a somewhat more tolerant approach toward other denominations. The rate of population growth, having peaked in the third quarter of the century, fell significantly with wide variations among countries. In spite of the limited data, and the methodological constraints, the parallels to contemporary international relations are chilling. In countries as diverse as Brazil and Guatemala there were by the end of the century more Protestants than actively churchgoing Roman Catholics. With social and economic modernization came changes, too, in gender relations. In Latin America, religion has a deep founded history that can be traced back to the earliest civilisations where sacrifice did not mean getting up early on Sunday morning for church, but instead took on deathly consequences to praise, worship and gratify different gods. Religion—in particular, the Roman Catholic Church—has been a driving force in Latin American politics, society, and economics from the earliest days of colonization. The Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America covers religious history in Latin America from pre-Conquest times until the present. Practitioners of Judaism, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Bahá'í Faith, and Shinto are also present in Latin America. Boston: Trustees of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1998. The book follows the development of religious culture over time by focusing on peak periods of change: the response of religion to the Enlightenment, the emergence of the Church from the wars of independence, the Romanization of Latin American religion as the papacy overtook the Spanish crown in effective control of the Church, the growing challenge of liberalism and the secular state, and in the … In … Edited by Virginia Garrard-Burnett, Paul Freston, Stephen C. Dove; Online ISBN: 9781139032698 Your name * Please enter your name. In Colombia, Afro-Latin Americans obtained rights to special legislative representation (as did Indian communities) in a new constitution in 1991. The Word made Image: Religion, Art, and Architecture in Spain and Spanish America, 1500-1600. By…, After a tour of Latin America in 1950, the American diplomat George Kennan wrote a memo despairing that the region would ever achieve a modest degree of economic dynamism, social mobility, or liberal politics. The last has not been heard from the indigenous movement in Ecuador—or elsewhere in Latin America. By the end of the 20th century, these Ecuadoran indigenous groups had already gained influence in national politics and demanded economic improvements. Liberation theology encouraged a break from an elitist notion of the Church and the return of control to the people. Ethnic minorities also sought greater opportunities and respect from society at large. Some priests actually joined guerrilla bands, while others laboured to “raise the consciousness” of their flocks concerning social injustice. The background. The fact that domestic servants were still relatively inexpensive made it easier for middle- and upper-class women to pursue professional careers. This agreement emerged partly from military opposition of a junta-ruled government and also from the adamant refusal of the United States to accept a new government imposed by unconstitutional means. W hen Christopher Columbus arrived in America, the Catholic Church moved quickly to establish its control in the newly discovered territory. Religion is a system of beliefs that explains what happens in the world, justifies order, and (usually) prescribes certain behaviors. In 1493, just one year after Columbus’s famous voyage, Pope Alexander VI published a bull dividing the new territory between Spain and Portugal—provided the natives were converted to Catholicism. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. [7] In particular, Pentecostalism has experienced massive growth. Papers will be pre-recorded and followed by live Q & A sessions wit Servants, however, were less inclined than they once were to accept their position as permanent; realistically or not, they dreamed of something better and to that extent epitomized a more general yearning for personal and social improvement that posed a challenge for all Latin American nations. The wealthier, educated Creoles (Spanish people born in the Americas) took over the reins of government (both in the church and state) from the Spanish-born elite. The Christian Endeavor Society of Missouri, an early forerunner of the American Religious Right, instituted a campaign to ban movies depicting kissing between non-relatives. No significant number of women in this predominantly Roman Catholic region took up the cause of women’s ordination to the priesthood. From the 1960s to the ’90s the proportion of women in the general labour force increased substantially. Religion in Latin America (Pew Research Center 2014)[1]. Due to the pandemic, the conference will be held virtually via Zoom. In the Preface, editors Penyak and Petry write that “we chose sources that force readers to grapple with the realities of imperialism, racism, poverty, and injustice, via eyewitness accounts of the dynamic religious currents in Latin American history. This survey of literature on religion and Latin American history begins with the arrival of European Christians in the late fifteenth century. [20], Number of followers by country (2015 Pew Research Center projections for 2020), "Religion in Latin America: Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region", Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, world's second-largest Christian population, "Religion in Latin America, Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region", O IBGE e a religião — Cristãos são 86,8% do Brasil; católicos caem para 64,6%; evangélicos já são 22,2%, "Las religiones en tiempos del Papa Francisco", Religion in Latin America Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region, "When Sects Become Middle Class: Impression Management among Middle-Class Pentecostals in Argentina", The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute; Annual Assessment, 2007, United Jewish Communities; Global Jewish Populations, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs - Background Note: Argentina, International Religious Freedom Report 2008 - Argentina, The Latin American Socio-Religious Studies Program / Programa Latinoamericano de Estudios Sociorreligiosos (PROLADES), "Religious Composition by Country, 2010-2050", Culture and society in the Spanish Colonial Americas, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Religion_in_Latin_America&oldid=997467422, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Brazil is the country with more practitioners in the world of Allan Kardec's Spiritism. As many women as men were enrolled in secondary education, and the traditional alternatives for those women who chose or were obliged to work outside the home—e.g., domestic service and prostitution—had been supplemented by an array of clerical, professional, and light factory jobs. Religion in Latin America is characterized by the historical predominance of Catholic Christianity,[2] increasing Protestant influence, as well as by the presence of other world religions. The majority of Latin Americans are Christians (90%),[5] mostly Roman Catholics. History of Latin America - History of Latin America - Religious trends: Roman Catholicism continued to be a powerful force in the second half of the 20th century. In some countries, minority groups formed militant organizations. Catholic leaders and activists opposed authoritarian regimes, influenced democratic "transitions," and, within substantially altered ecclesial institutions, have remained a significant presence in more open societies today. No longer did the kings function as the official heads of the church and its mission. In Argentina, for example, wives gained equal authority with husbands over minor-aged children only after the return of democracy in the 1980s. March 13, 1911 L. Ron Hubbard, science-fiction author and founder of Scientology , was born. With unsurpassed knowledge of Latin American history, John Lynch’s New Worlds: A Religious History of Latin America sets out to explore the reception of Christianity by native people and how it influenced their social and religious lives, from the Christian evangelists’ arrival in Latin America to the dictators of the late twentieth century. Traditions of patriarchy remained strong, and Latin American women’s groups were more prone than those in the United States or western Europe to exploit the symbolic discourse of motherhood in gaining their objectives. The book does not specifically provide an intellectual history of the varieties of beliefs which met and mixed in the Latin American context, and nor does it attempt to construct genealogies of belief across this time frame. Various Afro-Latin American traditions such as Santería, Candomblé, Umbanda, Macumba, and tribal-voodoo religions are also practiced, mainly in Cuba, Brazil, and Haiti. In the late 20th century the principal religious development was a rapid expansion of Protestantism, especially the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches. This is one of those books that you will refer to again and again as time goes on. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Argentina hosts the largest communities of both Jews (180,000-300,000)[14][15][16] and Muslims (500,000-600,000)[17][18][19] in Latin America. In Venezuela and Central America the situation was the reverse. The question is not whether there is a link between politics and religion in Latin America. The Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America covers religious history in Latin America from pre-Conquest times until the present. The Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America covers religious history in Latin America from pre-Conquest times until the present. Pope Francis has embraced many elements of liberation theology, especially the dedication of the Church to the poor and marginalized. Latin America also contained two of the world’s largest metropolitan areas—Mexico City and São Paulo. [6][1] Membership in Protestant denominations is increasing, particularly in Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Puerto Rico and other countries. 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