Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Secularization in Latin America

  • Roberto BlancarteEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_591

Definition

Secularization is an ancient concept that had different meanings in history. Originally it comes from the “saeculum,” that is: of the time of our terrestrial things. Then it was used to describe the passage from a religious order to the parochial priesthood and administration. Currently it refers to those elements that were part of the religious realm and are now independent from its influence. For example, cemeteries were secularized in many countries and are now under civil regulation.

Introduction

Secularization theory has been at the same time the most influential and the most controversial theory in the sociology of religion. In general terms, secularization describes a process of social differentiation, worldliness, privatization of religion, and reconfiguration of beliefs, with different emphases according to different authors (Blancarte 2012). This means that a secularized society separates the world in spheres and religion, becoming one of them, no longer rules...

Keywords

Secularity Secularization Laicity Churches Religious pluralism 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.El Colegio de MéxicoMéxico CityMexico