Secular heterogeneity in Latin America: religious behaviour, value change and existential security

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Secular heterogeneity in Latin America: religious behaviour, value change and existential security

Praxis.

2016.

Gabriel Otero, Edison Otero

Abstract

As well as revisiting main present aspects of the secularization debate, this paper aims to test contrasting statements about Latin America, based on more recent data from the World Values Survey, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the Freedom House. The results reveal that secularization is a current process in Latin America, demonstrated by the decline of religious behavior and the religious authority. In short, the process combines the decrease of the religious institution significance and the value change that originate from the opening towards issues as abortion and homosexuality. At the same time, data raise some founded doubts about the scope of existential security thesis, and reveals a secular heterogeneity process that requires his own theoretical approach. These findings in mind, the paper shows that there are no grounds for proclaiming the obsolescence of the secularization theory, however accepting his reformulation as a multidimensional process.

Keywords

Secularization, secular heterogeneity, religious behavior, value change, existential security.