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Reading: Religious Change and Politics: Comparing Catholics and Protestants in Brazil and Chile

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Research Article

Religious Change and Politics: Comparing Catholics and Protestants in Brazil and Chile

Author:

Eric Patterson

Abstract

Although many suggest that the recent conversion of millions to evangelical Protestantism bode well for democracy and capitalism, the empirical results are less straightforward. Using data from the World Value Survey and Latinobarometer, the paper finds that Catholics and Protestants in Brazil and Chile differ as expected in spiritual beliefs and religious practices. However, there is little evidence that adherents participate differently nor hold contrasting attitudes on a variety of issues. The paper concludes that at this point religion makes little difference on the political opinions and behaviors in these countries, and suggests that this is due either to the incremental nature of cultural change, or because the populace shares a common frame of suspicion or distrust for their political system, regardless of religion.

Aunque muchos sugieren que la reciente conversión de millones de personas a religiones protestantes evangélicas promote mucho para la democracia y el capitalismo, los resultados empíricos son menos alentadores. Usando información de la World Value Survey y el Latinobarometro, encontramos que los católicos y protestantes en Brasil y Chile difieren, como se esperaba, en relación a sus creencias espirituales y prácticas religiosas. Sin embargo, encontramos poca evidencia de que los devotos católicos y protestantes participen en la política en una manera diferente o tengan opiniones divergentes en una variedad de temas. Concluimos que en este momento las diferentes religions afectan muy poco las opiniones políticas de los habitantes de los países analizados, y sugerimos como posible explicación una de las siguientes alternativas: la cultura cambia de una manera incremental, o la población comparte un marco común de sospecha o desconfianza por el sistema político.

How to Cite: Patterson, E., (2001). Religious Change and Politics: Comparing Catholics and Protestants in Brazil and Chile. Iberoamericana – Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 31(1), pp.83–100. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16993/ibero.119
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Published on 01 Jan 2001.
Peer Reviewed

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