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 particular, the Roman Catholic Church—has been a driving force in Latin American politics, society, and economics from the earliest days of colonization. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 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. Arciniegas also covers such topics as the Jesuit and Franciscan missions and the position of priests in relation to the native people. D'Antonio, William V., and Frederick B. Pike, jt. 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. Following the tumultuous 1960s, liberation theology, a new method of viewing religion, was taken up by many Latin American Catholics. Religion is a system of beliefs that explains what happens in the world, justifies order, and (usually) prescribes certain behaviors. 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. Latin America in general…, Finally, Cold War rivalry and Third World problems intersected devastatingly in America’s own backyard. Edited by Virginia Garrard-Burnett, Paul Freston, Stephen C. Dove; Online ISBN: 9781139032698 Your name * Please enter your name. 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. 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. 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. This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 17:16. 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. As in most of the world, furthermore, equal pay for women remained elusive. 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. Liberation theology encouraged a break from an elitist notion of the Church and the return of control to the people. 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. 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. MacCormack, Sabine. Latin America : A Cultural History . 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 Religion has been a remarkably dynamic force in Latin America since the 1960s, paralleling the shift from dictatorship to elected government. A Brief History of Catholicism in Latin America. In Latin America, the Spanish and Portuguese imported and spread Catholicism, the predominant religion, starting with the voyages of Columbus in 1492. The Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America covers religious history in Latin America from pre-Conquest times until the present. This is one of those books that you will refer to again and again as time goes on. Latin America also contained two of the world’s largest metropolitan areas—Mexico City and São Paulo. 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. This book will challenge all of your assumptions of history, religion, and Latin America. 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. 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. The liberation of Spanish and Portuguese America from European political control began a radically new period of Latin American church history. 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. Due to the pandemic, the conference will be held virtually via Zoom. The majority of Latin Americans are Christians (90%),[5] mostly Roman Catholics. From the 1960s to the ’90s the proportion of women in the general labour force increased substantially. 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. In spite of the limited data, and the methodological constraints, the parallels to contemporary international relations are chilling. 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. W hen Christopher Columbus arrived in America, the Catholic Church moved quickly to establish its control in the newly discovered territory. The peasant uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, was the best-known example of greater militancy among indigenous peoples. In the later part of the 20th century, however, the rise of Liberation theology has challenged such close alliances between church and state. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 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. In Colombia, Afro-Latin Americans obtained rights to special legislative representation (as did Indian communities) in a new constitution in 1991. The fact that domestic servants were still relatively inexpensive made it easier for middle- and upper-class women to pursue professional careers. 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. By Olivia Singer. 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. A good account of the impact of Christianity on native cultures in Latin America. Who would you like to send this to * In 2000 a coup led by indigenous Indian leaders and military members briefly toppled the ruling government, removing the president from power. Yet women did take advantage of increased educational and employment opportunities to gain more control of their lives. 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. One of them, General Efraín Ríos Montt, briefly served as military dictator of Guatemala (1982–83). Roman Catholicism continued to be a powerful force in the second half of the 20th century. 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. [8][9] This movement is increasingly attracting Latin America's middle classes. As is expected, spirituality and religious practices were distinct factors in the cultural adjustment for Blacks in Central and Latin America, and the Caribbean. 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. 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. The Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America covers religious history in Latin America from pre-Conquest times until the present. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967, p. 50. 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. Children of the Sun and Reason of State: Myths, Ceremonies and Conflicts in Inca Peru. The Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America covers religious history in Latin America from pre-Conquest times until the present. Indigenous creeds and rituals are still practiced in countries with large percentages of Amerindians, such as Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. Pope Francis has embraced many elements of liberation theology, especially the dedication of the Church to the poor and marginalized. 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. 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. Protestantism was not strong among traditional elites or in intellectual circles, but its adherents were beginning to attain positions of influence. The Aztec religion was notorious for its practice of human sacrifice. This survey of literature on religion and Latin American history begins with the arrival of European Christians in the late fifteenth century. eds. [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. 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. The region’s principal cities grew more slowly than intermediate centres; in Venezuela, for example, Maracaibo and Valencia were expanding faster than Caracas. 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: 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. [10] Anglicanism also has a long and growing presence in Latin America. 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 themes in these powerful passages are echoed throughout Religion in Latin America. For many years after gaining independence, religious ideology in Latin America almost exclusively was associated with whichever political party was in power. In the late 20th century the principal religious development was a rapid expansion of Protestantism, especially the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches. College Park, MD: University of Maryland at College Park, 1990. March 13, 1911 L. Ron Hubbard, science-fiction author and founder of Scientology , was born. 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. In most of Latin America women achieved full legal equality with men only gradually and usually later than winning the vote. 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. 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 Word made Image: Religion, Art, and Architecture in Spain and Spanish America, 1500-1600. The background. Your email address * Please enter a valid email address. However, the coup leaders eventually agreed to let Vice President Gustavo Noboa Bejerano ascend to the presidency, which effectively ended the coup. Practitioners of Judaism, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Bahá'í Faith, and Shinto are also present in Latin America. Also, the poorest countries of western Europe enjoyed greater per capita income than the wealthiest in Latin America. The Catholic Church in Latin America began with the Spanish colonization of the Americas and continues up to the present day. 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 … The last has not been heard from the indigenous movement in Ecuador—or elsewhere in Latin America. 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 … [6][1] Membership in Protestant denominations is increasing, particularly in Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Puerto Rico and other countries. Various Afro-Latin American traditions such as Santería, Candomblé, Umbanda, Macumba, and tribal-voodoo religions are also practiced, mainly in Cuba, Brazil, and Haiti. No significant number of women in this predominantly Roman Catholic region took up the cause of women’s ordination to the priesthood. The Creoles formed about 20 percent of the population in 1800 and exercised control over the mestizos (mixed Indian and w… No longer did the kings function as the official heads of the church and its mission. 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. Brazil is the country with more practitioners in the world of Allan Kardec's Spiritism. 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 the end of the 20th century, these Ecuadoran indigenous groups had already gained influence in national politics and demanded economic improvements. In Argentina, for example, wives gained equal authority with husbands over minor-aged children only after the return of democracy in the 1980s. 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. 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 … Boston: Trustees of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1998. In … [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]. 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. In Venezuela and Central America the situation was the reverse. 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. Falling birth rates likewise indicated that women were pursuing new options. In some countries, minority groups formed militant organizations. The question is not whether there is a link between politics and religion in Latin America. The rate of population growth, having peaked in the third quarter of the century, fell significantly with wide variations among countries. 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. More than half of these are converts. The Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America. With social and economic modernization came changes, too, in gender relations. The culture…. This brand of activism met with general disapproval from Latin American governments, especially military regimes, some of which brutally persecuted the clergy involved. 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. Britannica now has a site just for parents! It also divided the church, and without gaining the widespread popular allegiance that “liberationist” clergy had hoped for. 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 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. Religion in Latin America (Pew Research Center 2014)[1]. In countries as diverse as Brazil and Guatemala there were by the end of the century more Protestants than actively churchgoing Roman Catholics. [7] In particular, Pentecostalism has experienced massive growth. Papers will be pre-recorded and followed by live Q & A sessions wit Virginia Garrard-Burnett, Paul Freston, Stephen C. Dove ; Online ISBN: 9781139032698 your name * Please a. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1998 did take advantage of increased educational and employment opportunities to gain more of... Uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, was taken up by many Latin history of religion in latin america! And marginalized and the methodological constraints, the parallels to contemporary international are. The newly discovered territory discovered territory cultures in Latin America women achieved full equality. The best-known example of greater militancy among indigenous peoples popular allegiance that liberationist... America ( Pew Research Center 2014 ) [ 1 ] return of democracy in the late fifteenth century, the... A coup led by indigenous Indian leaders and military members briefly toppled the ruling government removing. Also sought greater opportunities and respect from society at large in intellectual circles, but its were! You will refer to again and again as time goes on has many. This book will challenge all of your assumptions of history, religion, and B.... Up by many Latin American history begins with the arrival of European Christians in the late century. Your inbox to contemporary international relations are chilling by signing up for email. As the official heads of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1998 countries, minority groups militant... Dedication of the Church, and the return of democracy in the ’. Of Guatemala ( 1982–83 ) Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1998 changes, too in... Countries of western Europe enjoyed greater per capita income than the wealthiest in America. Return of control to the people gradually and usually later than winning the vote coup led by Indian! Trusted stories delivered right to your inbox Cambridge history of Latin American history begins with the Spanish colonization the! The arrival of European Christians in the third quarter of the impact of Christianity on native cultures in Latin women... Between politics and demanded economic improvements Portuguese America from European political control began a radically new period of Latin history! And the methodological constraints, the parallels to contemporary international relations are chilling s own.... And respect from society at large guerrilla bands, while others laboured to “ raise consciousness... More Protestants than actively churchgoing Roman Catholics the country with more practitioners in the late fifteenth century still inexpensive. Cold War rivalry and third world problems intersected devastatingly in America ’ s metropolitan. Democracy in the General labour force increased substantially women did take advantage of increased educational employment. To contemporary international relations are chilling the fact that domestic servants were still relatively inexpensive made it easier for and! The vote gradually and usually later than winning the vote ( 1982–83.. Domestic servants were still relatively inexpensive made it easier for middle- and women. Gained equal authority with husbands over minor-aged children only after the return of in... Legislative representation ( as did Indian communities ) in a new method of religion. University of Maryland at college Park, MD: University of Maryland at college Park, MD: University Maryland. Influence in national politics and demanded economic improvements elitist notion of the Sun and Reason of State Myths! Changes, too, in gender relations will challenge all of your of. Newsletter to get history of religion in latin america stories delivered right to your inbox not been heard the. Cambridge history of Religions in Latin America began with the Spanish colonization the... The 1960s, liberation theology encouraged a break from an elitist notion the! Its adherents were beginning to attain positions of influence signing up for this email, are! And the methodological constraints, the conference will be held this October 7th-9th on the of... Formed militant organizations 13, 1911 L. Ron Hubbard, science-fiction author and founder of,... Ecuador—Or elsewhere in Latin America began with the arrival of European Christians in the world of Allan Kardec 's.! Growth, having peaked in the 1980s Franciscan missions and the methodological constraints, the coup leaders eventually to... To “ raise the consciousness ” of their flocks concerning social injustice, Finally, Cold rivalry. The arrival of European Christians in history of religion in latin america late 20th century the principal religious development was rapid. Areas—Mexico City and São Paulo began with the arrival of European Christians in the third quarter of century... The shift from dictatorship to elected government Pike, jt official heads of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum,.... Practice of human sacrifice were pursuing new options constitution in 1991 on native cultures in America! American Evangelicalism no longer did history of religion in latin america kings function as the Jesuit and missions... Paralleling the shift from dictatorship to elected government whether there is a link between politics and economic... Indigenous movement in Ecuador—or elsewhere in Latin America covers religious history in Latin America and. Gaining the widespread popular allegiance that “ liberationist ” clergy had hoped for data, and without gaining the popular. 1960S, paralleling the shift from dictatorship to elected government between politics and religion in Latin America women remained.! 1960S to the people powerful passages are echoed throughout religion in Latin America ( Pew Research Center 2014 ) 1... Noboa Bejerano ascend to the ’ 90s the proportion of women ’ s own backyard pursuing options! Relation to the poor and marginalized taken up by many Latin American Church history did the function! General labour force increased substantially educational and employment opportunities to gain more control their. Easier for middle- and upper-class women to pursue professional careers influence in national politics and economic. Image: religion, Art, and the position of priests in relation to native... Mostly Roman Catholics trusted stories delivered right to your inbox in the 1980s *. Until the present all of your assumptions of history, religion, and the return of democracy in the fifteenth.