Lived Religion in Latin America: An Enchanted Modernity

ISBN : 9780197579633

Gustavo Morello, SJ
240 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Sep 2021
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What does the practice of religion look like in Latin American today? In this book, which examines religious practice in three Latin American cities- Lima, Peru; Cordoba, Argentina; and Montevideo, Uruguay- Gustavo Morello reveals the influence of modernity on average citizens' cultural practices. Technological development, the dynamics of capitalism, the specialization of spheres of knowledge- all these aspects of modernity were thought to diminish the importance of religion. Yet, Morello argues, if we look at religion as ordinary Latin Americans practice it, we discover that modernity has not diminished religion, but transformed it, creating what Morello calls "enchanted modernity." In Latin America, there is more religion than secularists expect, but of a different kind than religious leaders would wish. Morello explores how urban, contemporary Latin Americans, both believers and non-believers, from different social classes and religious affiliations, experience transcendence in everyday life. Using semi-structured interviews with 254 individuals in three cities with shifting religious landscapes and different cultural histories, Morello highlights the diversity within Latin America, exploring societies that are understudied and examining a broad array of religious traditions: "nones" (agnostics, non-affiliated, atheist), Catholics, Evangelicals (including mainstream Protestants, Pentecostals, neo-Evangelicals), and other traditions (including Jews, Muslims, Mormons, African-derived traditions, and Buddhists). Morello emphasizes elements, nuances, and dynamics that have previously been overlooked and that can enrich the study of religion other non-western societies. The book seeks to contribute to a critical theory of contemporary religion- one that is not centered in the North Atlantic world and that takes seriously the voices of the Latin American people.


Chapter 1: A Latin American critical sociology perspective on religion
Chapter 2: Historical context
Chapter 3: Respondents' religious and social landscape
Chapter 4: Latin Americans' god
Chapter 5: Latin Americans' ways of praying
Chapter 6. Religion in Latin America's public sphere

About the author: 

Gustavo Morello, SJ is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston College. He is the author of The Catholic Church and Argentinas Dirty War.

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