Download Competitive Spirits: Latin America's New Religious Economy by R. Andrew Chesnut PDF

By R. Andrew Chesnut

For over 4 centuries the Catholic Church loved a non secular monopoly in Latin the US during which strength competitors have been repressed or outlawed. Latin americans have been born Catholic and the only selection that they had used to be no matter if to actively perform the religion. benefiting from the felony disestablishment of the Catholic Church among the overdue 1800s and the early 1900s, Pentecostals nearly single-handedly outfitted a brand new pluralist spiritual economic climate. via the Nineteen Fifties, many Latin american citizens have been loose to choose between one of the countless numbers of obtainable non secular "products," a dizzying array of spiritual suggestions that diversity from the African-Brazilian faith of Umbanda to the recent Age staff often called the Vegetable Union.R. Andrew Chesnut exhibits how the advance of non secular pluralism during the last half-century has considerably reworked the "spiritual economic system" of Latin the USA. which will thrive during this new spiritual financial system, says Chesnut, Latin American non secular "firms" needs to improve an enticing product and understand how to put it on the market to well known shoppers. 3 non secular teams, he demonstrates, have confirmed to be the main expert rivals within the new unregulated non secular economic climate. Protestant Pentecostalism, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and African diaspora religions reminiscent of Brazilian Candomble and Haitian Vodou have emerged because the such a lot ecocnomic non secular manufacturers. Chesnut explores the final results of a unfastened marketplace, comparable to advent of customer style and product specialization, and indicates how they've got performed out within the Latin American context. He notes, for instance, that ladies make up nearly all of the spiritual purchaser industry, and explores how the 3 teams have constructed to meet women's tastes and personal tastes. relocating past the Pentecostal increase and the increase and fall of liberation theology, Chesnut offers a desirable portrait of the Latin American spiritual panorama.

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Example text

The first quarter-century of independence, 1825 to 1850, was generally the tranquil eye of the political storm for the Latin American church. It did suffer political attacks in several nations, especially Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, but these tended to be limited campaigns, unlike the systematic offensive that would commence at mid-century. The revolutionary force that brought the creole elite to political power damaged the ecclesiastical institution but did not demolish its constitutional foundation.

Through this examination of the elements that determine the success or failure of any religious organization competing in an unregulated religious economy, Pentecostalism’s recipe for success will become clear. Analyses of the Pentecostal product, marketing, sales representatives, organizational structure, and consumers will illuminate the determining factors in this ecstatic religion’s commanding position in the free religious market. María Hernández, an Archetypical Consumer Since it is the tastes and preferences of religious consumers that largely determine the fate of any given religious enterprise in a competitive economy, consideration of the large class of popular religious consumers who have purchased Cornering the Market 41 the Pentecostal product is imperative.

The absence of the episcopacy for more than two decades spanning the wars of independence and the first years of nationhood essentially resulted in an encephalic church in Latin America during the period in question. Even though priests had tended to support the cause of liberation, their ranks were severely depleted by the disruption caused by the revolutionary wars and the constriction of the supply of new sacerdotal blood from Spain. In the aftermath of independence, seminaries were closed and the ranks of the clergy were depleted, as some priests had perished in battle while others fled to Spain or left the priesthood altogether.

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