Conversion of a Continent: Contemporary Religious Change in Latin America

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Timothy J. Steigenga, Edward L. Cleary
Rutgers University Press, 2007 - Religion - 290 pages
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A massive religious transformation has unfolded over the past forty years in Latin America and the Caribbean. In a region where the Catholic Church could once claim a near monopoly of adherents, religious pluralism has fundamentally altered the social and religious landscape.
   
Conversion of a Continent brings together twelve original essays that document and explore competing explanations for how and why conversion has occurred. Contributors draw on various insights from social movement theory to religious studies to help outline its impact on national attitudes and activities, gender relations, identity politics, and reverse waves of missions from Latin America aimed at the American immigrant community. 
   
Unlike other studies on religious conversion, this volume pays close attention to who converts, under what circumstances, the meaning of conversion to the individual, and how the change affects converts' beliefs and actions. The thematic focus makes this volume important to students and scholars in both religious studies and Latin American studies.
 

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Contents

Conversion and the Products
72
Relational Analysis of Religious Conversion
93
Conversion from Afrobrazilian Religions
115
Part three
197
Stop Suffering? the iglesia universal del Reino de dios
218
Pentecostal identity
239
Contributors
281
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About the author (2007)

Timothy J. Steigenga is an associate professor of political science and Latin American studies at the Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University. He is coeditor (with Cleary) of Resurgent Voices in Latin America: Indigenous Peoples, Political Mobilization, and Religious Change (Rutgers University Press).

Edward L. Cleary
is a professor of political science and the director of Latin American studies at Providence College.

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