Religion and Environmental Struggles in Latin America

Lois Ann Lorentzen and Leavitt-Alcantara Salvador

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780195178722
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Religion and Environmental Struggles in Latin America

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Latin America faces environmental crises that directly affect the health and well-being of its people, especially the poor. This essay discusses the involvement of religious groups in the myriad environmental struggles found in Latin America today. It charts religious beliefs and practices of indigenous religions, focusing on Roman Catholicism, liberation theology, ecofeminism, Protestants (emphasizing evangelical and Pentecostal Protestantism), and diaspora religions of Latin America and the Caribbean. In each case, it analyzes religious symbols, theologies, myths, narratives, and rituals as they relate to the nonhuman world. It also examines the link between environmental ethics and action, the legacy of colonization in Latin America, religious syncretism and sacred/secular blurring, epistemology, and hermeneutics.

Keywords: Latin America; religious groups; religious beliefs; indigenous religions; Roman Catholicism; liberation theology; ecofeminism; environmental ethics; diaspora religions

Article.  10483 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Religion and Science ; Christianity

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