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Encyclopeadia of Latin American Religion
Courses include surveys with general overviews of core issues in African, American, Asian, Latin American, Western, and World History as well as more specialized upper level courses which students tailor to their specific interests. Majors spend a significant amount of time observing and engaging teachers in partner schools, ultimately planning, teaching, and assessing actual students while choosing an area of teaching specialization in Economics, History, Geography, or Political Science.
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The issue concludes with Martin Nesvig’s essay, which negotiates the complex terrain of Latin American homosexuality and bisexuality.
This special issue will be a valuable resource for anyone teaching women’s history, gender history, the history of sexuality, or any course on Latin American history with a focus on gender and sexuality.
Democratic process also occurred in the religion of Latin America
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“As Latin America assumes the role of the world's most Catholic continent, it becomes all the more necessary for anyone interested in contemporary Christianity to understand its historical roots. Schwaller's well-written and thoroughly researched history serves as an excellent guide to Latin America's turbulent religious past, and its contemporary realities. This is a valuable book from a distinguished scholar.”
First, let me start by saying that I agree with Prof. Gill's general assumption that rational choice approaches are a useful tool for the study of religious behavior. He is right to challenge the untenable notion that religion is irrational or, at the very least, non-rational and that it is purely other-worldly. As Gill states: "although religious belief per se may be placed outside the realm of rationality, leaders of religious institutions are subject to many of the same concerns and constraints as their as their secular counterparts (e.g., politicians, labor leaders). Primary among these concerns is the need for their church to survive and expand .i.e., to preserve the institution and increase membership" (1998:11). If anything, the fact that capitalism, particularly in its neoliberal forms, has become one of the dominant ordering forces in Latin American society should force us to take seriously the notion of "religious economies."
Latin American Religion and Machismo
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As we have seen, the history of the Catholic Church in Latin America is as complex and multifaceted as the region is itself. The missionaries who arrived in the Americas were far from homogeneous, representing several religious orders and the secular, or diocesan, clergy...
Now, one does not have to buy Schmidt's gift model to acknowledge hiscritique of rational choice and religious market models. As a matter offact, in the Latin American context, the works of John Burdick and RowanIreland are models of a fuller, richer approach to "popular" or"lived" religion. In both Burdick's Looking for God and Ireland'sKingdoms Come competition figures prominently but always against thebackdrop of complex processes of identity formation and hybridization. Whyis this line of critique relevant? Because popular religion (in the shape oftraditional popular Catholicism, Pentecostalism, and African-based and NewAge religions) is definitely the most common form of religious life in LatinAmerica. I think many scholars of Latin American religion (myself counted!)have made the mistake of concentrating too much on religious movements (basecommunities and Pentecostal congregations) and institutions (especiallychurch-state relations) and not enough of the more diffuse popularreligiosity (and its multiple relations with institutions andmovements).
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Civil Religion in America by Robert N. Bellah
The religious critics of"religion in general," or of the "religion of the 'American Way ofLife,'" or of "American Shinto" have really been talking about the civilreligion.
Civil Religion in America by Robert N
Nor was the civil religion simply "religion in general." Whilegenerality was undoubtedly seen as a virtue by some, as in the quotation fromFranklin above, the civil religion was specific enough when it came to the topicof America.
History of Latin America - Wikipedia
In sum, while I think rational choice approaches can help us elucidate some aspects of religious life in Latin America, I am fairly skeptical about the long-term significance of the model. My skepticism is due to epistemological and methodological problems at the heart of rational choice theory, problems that cannot be corrected by the simple "adoption of insights from cognitive psychology, cultural perspectives, or complexity theory," as Prof. Gill optimistically claims (1998: 201). Of course, it is still too early to predict anything and I think we should let this "reseach programme" (Lakatos) test its validity and range.
God, Religion, and America’s Addiction Crisis » Mosaic
Quite the contrary, I find rational choice theory not flexible, comprehensive, or robust enough to make sense of the changing Latin American religious field. We need approaches that situate religious practice within interlocking, overlapping institutional, structural, and systemic logics which include globalization, economic restructuring, transnational migration, transitions to democracy, and the Vatican's new evangelization initiative. I doubt that rational choice's methodological individualism can cope with all this complexity (even if strengthened by game theory, which supposedly addresses "constraints").
Etexts, focusing on classics and general reference works.
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