This book provides a critical sociology of religion in Latin America. Its purpose is to discuss the notion of religion as part of social, cultural, and political processes in capitalist societies, drawing on the classics of sociological thought (Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Gramsci). Thus, churches are analyzed as organized institutions of religious mediation intimately linked to the production of social, cultural, and political hegemony in Latin America. The Catholic Church, the dominant church in the region, is analyzed in terms of its different faces, changes, and transformations from conquest and colonization through the changing winds of Vatican II to the revolutionary experiences of the popular church in the 1970s and 1980s.
This work will be of interest to scholars of Latin American studies, politics, religion, culture, and sociology. It also speaks to theologians and philosophers working in Latin America.