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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Recent decades have seen important developments in Latin American writings in the sociology of religion field. Not only has there been exponential growth in the number of publications on religious phenomena in the region, but the field itself has also shifted from sociology about Latin American religion to a Latin American sociology of religion. This field takes contemporary Latin American forms of religiosity as an empirical referent, then goes even further to propose interpretive frameworks and new methodologies that contribute to the understanding of religious phenomena at a global level. This chapter introduces four prominent Latin American sociologists of religion: Roberto Blancarte’s work on laicity; the critical analysis of Cristián Parker on popular religions within multiple modernities; Hugo José Suárez’s conceptualization of “para-ecclesiastical agents,” a key concept for understanding religious collective practice in Latin America; and Eloisa Martin’s proposal of the heuristic potential of analyzing practices of sacralization for understanding popular religion in Latin America.

Keywords: Latin American sociology of religion, para-ecclesiastical agents, multiple modernities, practices of sacralization, popular religion

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