Article

‘The World Palpitates’: Globalization and the Religious Faith and Practices of Latin American Women

Nancy E. Bedford

in The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theology

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199273881
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199273881.003.0008

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

‘The World Palpitates’: Globalization and the Religious Faith and Practices of Latin American Women

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Given the fact that religion and globalization are significantly intertwined, what should we make of the contemporary religious faith and practices of Latin American women? Do religious conversion and active participation in a community of faith amount to “adaptive solutions” to the crisis unleashed by capitalist globalization, analogous to those made by women as economic agents? From the perspective of the sociology of religion, it has become a byword that the faith and religious community-building of women—be it the Pentecostalism of Maya women in Guatemala or the activism of Brazilian women in Roman Catholic base communities—can and do serve as coping or indeed as survival strategies in times of globalization. A theological perspective does not necessarily contradict the sociological insight that discovers ways in which religious faith and practices serve in coping and surviving. Because theology speaks in an engaged voice from within the realm of faith, however, it can allow itself—indeed it must—to delve differently than the social sciences. This chapter explores the observation that religious faith and practices of Latin American women, in these economically globalized times, often serve in rather unexpected ways to make space for life, in all of its messiness and materiality.

Keywords: religious faith; religious practices; globalization; Latin American women; Pentecostalism

Article.  7373 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Islam ; Interfaith Relations

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