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LATI 50

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RELIGION, THE CHURCH, AND LIBERATION THEOLOGY LATI 50 INTRODUCTION TO LATIN AMERICA CURRENT ASSIGNMENTS Reading: Modern Latin America, chs. 7 and 14 Optional Paper: 6 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: LATI 50


1
RELIGION, THE CHURCH, AND LIBERATION THEOLOGY
  • LATI 50
  • Introduction to Latin America

2
CURRENT ASSIGNMENTS
  • Reading
  • Modern Latin America, chs. 7 and 14
  • Optional Paper
  • 6-10 pages on a topic of your choosing (approved
    by TA)
  • Due in class Tuesday, March 10

3
CONVENTIONAL WISDOMS
  • Role of Catholicism
  • Conservative politics
  • Authority of priesthood
  • Unchanging doctrines
  • Cultures of faith

4
INCONVENIENT FACTS
  • 60 of worlds Catholics, and 90-95 born as
    Catholics, but
  • Only 71 describe selves as Catholic, but
    attendance at mass is much less
  • Anti-clericalism and secularism significant
  • Intense theological ferment
  • Competition from Protestantism and other
    religions

5
POPE FRANCIS I
6
AGAIN
7
AND AGAIN
8
HISTORICAL PATTERNS
  • Syncretism blending of European (Catholic) and
    indigenous belief systems
  • Role of priest in village society
  • Preacher, teacher
  • Arbiter, referee
  • Path to upward mobility
  • Trinity of power elite, military, and clergy
  • Church as banker
  • Doctrine of obedience

9
LIBERATION THEOLOGY
  • Origins
  • Rerum novarum (1891) and Catholic social doctrine
  • Marxist analysis
  • Vatican II (1962-65)
  • Conference of Latin American Bishops (Medellín,
    1968)
  • Principal themes
  • Social justice on earth
  • Poverty a consequence of sin
  • Preferential option for the poor
  • Need for liberation from oppression and from
    avarice, selfishness, lack of compassion thus a
    more perfect relationship with God

10
MEANS TO LIBERATION
  • Christian Base Communities
  • Readings of the Bible
  • Popular empowerment
  • Support for revolutionary movements (in some
    cases), resistance to authoritarian regimes
  • Opposition from Vatican (Pope John Paul II and
    Benedict XVI) and from institutional Churchless
    so from Francis I

11
THE CHURCH AND POLITICS
  • Difference between institutional hierarchy and
    regular orders (e.g., Jesuits, Franciscans,
    Dominicans)
  • Open support for human rights
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Central America (Nicaragua, El Salvador)
  • Conservative/reactionary stances
  • Argentina
  • Colombia

12
RISE OF PROTESTANTISM
  • Key Doctrines
  • Direct personal experience of God through baptism
    in the Holy Spirit (thus, born again)
  • Infallibility of Bible, personal healing
  • Brazil
  • Assemblies of God
  • Universal Church of Kingdom of God
  • Estimates 30 million
  • Central America
  • Guatemala
  • Factors
  • Charismatic preachers missionaries
  • Appeal to migrants in urban slums, provision of
    practical support systems
  • No need for literacy (as in reading Bible)

13
ROOTS, AFRICAN AND INDIGENOUS
  • African
  • Umbanda (Brazil)
  • Candomblé
  • Santería (Cuba)
  • Indigenous
  • Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru

14
AND SO
  • Revision of conventional wisdom
  • Variety and range of experience and roles
  • Complexity of Latin American society and
    institutions
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