The Rise of Charismatic Catholicism in Latin America

Edward L. Cleary

Details: 324 pages    6x9
Cloth: $74.95   ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-3608-3   
Pubdate: 6/26/2011
Review(s): 7 available

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"Latin America in the twenty-first century is no longer the way we have always imagined it, and nowhere are the region’s vast changes more evident than in the field of religion. Ed Cleary brings his readers into the churches and communities of Latin America to introduce them to the Catholic Charismatic Movement, the biggest and most important religious shift taking place in the region in recent decades."--Kenneth P. Serbin, University of San Diego

Much has been made of the dramatic rise of Protestantism in Latin America. Many view this as a sign that Catholicism’s primacy in the region is at last beginning to wane. Overlooked by journalists and scholars has been the parallel growth of Charismatic, or Pentecostal, Catholicism in the region. Edward Cleary offers the first comprehensive treatment of this movement, revealing its importance to the Catholic Church as well as the people of Latin America.

Catholic Charismatics have grown worldwide to several hundred million, among whom Latin Americans number approximately 73 million participants. These individuals are helping the church become more extroverted by drawing many into evangelizing and mission work. The movement has rapidly acquired an indigenous Latin American character and is now returning to the United States through migration and is affecting Catholicism in the United States.

Cleary has witnessed firsthand the birth and maturing of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Latin America as both a social scientist and a Dominican missionary. Drawing upon important findings of Latin American scholars and researchers, he explores and analyzes the origins of the most important Catholic movement in Latin America and its notable expansion to all countries of the region, bringing with it unusual vitality and notable controversy about its practices.

Edward L. Cleary, professor of political science and director of the Latin American studies program at Providence College and visiting scholar at Stanford University, has authored or edited eleven books, most recently Conversion of a Continent: Religious Change in Latin America.

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