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The Brazilian Popular Church and the Crisis of Modernity : Cambridge Studies in Ideology and Religion - Manuel A. Vasquez

The Brazilian Popular Church and the Crisis of Modernity

Cambridge Studies in Ideology and Religion

Hardcover Published: 9th October 2012
ISBN: 9780521585088
Number Of Pages: 320

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This study explores one of the most dramatic current interactions between religion and politics: the development of progressive Catholicism in Latin America. In particular, it examines economic, social and religious obstacles to progressive theology in Brazil. This 'popular' church built a utopian vision of social emancipation, drawing on Catholic social thought, humanistic Marxism and existentialism. It was a major democratising force as Brazil emerged from dictatorship in the late 1970s. In the 1980s, however, the popular appeal of progressive Catholicism came under threat. Focussing on a Catholic community near Rio de Janeiro, Manuel A. Vasquez's incisive study shows how economic and political changes have affected religious practices, and argues that the plight of progressive Catholicism in Brazil forms part of a wider crisis of modernity and of humanist discourses.

"This is a significant contribution to the study of the Brazilian Roman Catholic Church which not only provides a rich analysis, but also an illustrative example of an approach which seeks to relate the case study method...to wider theoretical issues... This work offers a concise definition of the modernist utopian project, a clear and brisk survey of the 'popular church's' ideological...and theological bases on the socialist version of the Western modernist utopia, all skillfully set in the context of the institutional Church and the related internal and external ecclesiastical pressures on the national and international levels. This careful and provocative work is a worthy addition to the Cambridge Studies in Ideology and Religion. It fills a lacuna in scholarly work on the Brazilian church..." Iain S. Maclean, H-Net Reviews "What Vasquez has to say offers a good guide to a rethinking of liberation theology." Books & Culture "Vasquez's excellent work...pays close attention to the larger context: theological and ideological, political and economic. he thoughtfully and powerfully engages the vast literature of the basse community movement. His nuanced study attends to the various internal and external factors that have contributed to the decline of the popular church. He succeeds in demonstrating the overwhelming capacity of late capitalism, especially as it is manifested in Brazil, to obstruct and challenge utopian, emancipatory projects." Koinonia "Throughout this work the author clearly articulates his thoretical and methodological presuppositions...this is a well-written, valuable study." Dana Sawchuk, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion "This is a useful and important project, and the author's consistent attention to it helps him to identify the ways in which local social action can satisfy needs, and resituate individuals in the context in which they live." Church History

Background to the crisis
The popular Church's Utopian project: ideological and theological bases
The consolidation of the Igreja Popular and its impact on Brazilian society
The nature of the crisis
The internal dimension: a crisis of participation
The external dimension: the growth of popular Pentecostalism
Explaining the crisis
Intra-Institutional Explanations
The crisis in local perspective: a Brazilian base community
Brazilian capitalism since the 1980s: redefining the limits of the possible
Reinterpreting the crisis
The popular church and the crisis of modernity
Rethinking the Popular Church's project: lessons for this-worldly religious utopias
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521585088
ISBN-10: 0521585082
Series: Cambridge Studies in Ideology and Religion
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 9th October 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.8  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.56