Northwestern Events Calendar


The Institutional Theory of Religious Change: Catholic Breakdown in Latin America

When: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Central

Where: 1800 Sherman Avenue, 3-000, Evanston, IL 60201 map it

Audience: Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Morrissey  

Group: Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS)

Category: Lectures & Meetings


EDGS Graduate Lecture Series

Emilio Lehoucq, Sociology

Until the 1970s, Catholicism was the majority religion in Latin America, and the Catholic Church enjoyed institutional privileges. Since 1970, when Latin America was the battleground of Global Catholicism, this religion lost its uncontested dominance among the population, competing with Evangelicals, and the institutional position of the Catholic Church suffered. Why did the Catholic order break in some countries? Existing studies do not adequately explain the breakdown of the Catholic order. This article proposes an institutional theory of religious change that explains the breakdown of the Catholic order. It shows that where central Episcopates embraced liberation theology since the late 1960s and opposed the state, they motivated state repression. This activated a negative feedback loop of more church activism and state repression, leading to the breakdown of the Catholic order. Where central Episcopates did not embrace liberation theology, they kept a cooperative relation with the state, leading to Catholic hegemony.

Add to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in