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Research Article

Challenged by Pluralism: Churchly Expansion into Magic and Prophetism – The new Roles of the Catholic Church in Latin America

Author:

Jakob Egeris Thorsen

Department for Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark, DK
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Abstract

Basado en los tipos ideales de la religión de Weber y en la noción del campo religioso de Bourdieu, este artículo explora como la Iglesia Católica reacciona ante la situación de un pluralismo religioso creciente, abarcando prácticas mágicas y proféticas. En el pasado cuando poseía el monopolio en el campo de la religión institucionalizado, el Catolicismo representaba un ejemplo perfecto de una ‘religión sacerdotal’. Hoy en día ha surgido un campo religioso pluralista. Tanto ‘profetas’ evangélicos como ‘magos/chamanes’ pre-colombinos y afro-americanos imbuidos por una nueva autoconfianza, han desafiado abiertamente el monopolio sacerdotal del Catolicismo. Empleando el ejemplo de la Renovación Carismática Católica, el movimiento laico más grande, este artículo examina como la Iglesia Católica ha entrado efectivamente en la competencia religiosa dentro del campo de ‘los profetas’ y ‘los magos’ y como este proceso está cambiando la identidad sacerdotal de la Iglesia en las sociedades latinoamericanas.

English:

Building on Weber’s ideal religious types and Bourdieu’s notion of the religious field, this article explores how the Catholic Church in Latin America reacts to the situation of increased religious pluralism and competition by embracing magical and prophetic practices. In the past when Roman Catholicism enjoyed monopoly over institutionalized religion, it represented a perfect example of ‘priestly religion’. Today a pluralistic religious field has emerged. Both Evangelical ‘prophets’ and self-confident pre-Columbian and Afro-American ‘magicians’ have openly challenged the priestly monopoly of Catholicism. By using the example of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, the largest lay movement in the Latin American Church, this article examines how the Catholic Church has effectively entered the religious competition within the fields of ‘prophets’ and ‘magicians’, and how this is currently challenging the priestly identity of the Church in Latin America societies.

How to Cite: Thorsen, J.E., (2013). Challenged by Pluralism: Churchly Expansion into Magic and Prophetism – The new Roles of the Catholic Church in Latin America. Iberoamericana – Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 42(1-2), pp.35–58. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16993/ibero.33
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Published on 01 Feb 2013.
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