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Catalina Romero, "Religion, Civil Society, and Politics: The Impact of Democratic Awareness in Chuch and Society"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
12:00 AM
5670 Haven Hall, Eldersveld Room

Catalina Romero is a Sociologist at PUCP. Romero received her Ph.D. in Sociology at The New School for Social Research, New York.Romero works primarily on religion and democracy, but also has worked on the World Values Survey, religion and civil society in Peru, Values and Human Development, and the Quality of Democracy in Peru.Latin America is turning more religious, although secularization is growing. Religious practice is diminishing, and Catholicism is sharing space with other Christian religions all around the continent. But the Catholic Church continues to be the most prestigious institution in terms of public trust according to survey research. What is the meaning of this contradictory information, and what is happening in Latin America with religion? Analyzing the case of Peru we can understand the complexity of religious institutions or religious societies. If we look at the Catholic Church from what the hierarchy has to say we miss the vital signs of religious society going through a process of transformation, with active participation and discussions going on in relation to key issues at the private and public space. Continuous involvement of religious membership in civil society, in human rights associations and environmental issues, have helped to develop a religious constituency, aware of its membership rights both in church and in political society. This awareness will certainly challenge religious and political authoritarianism and have an impact on democracy one way or the other. (Co-Sponsored by the Department of Political Science)