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Women, Religion, and Social Change in Brazil's Popular Church

University of Notre Dame Press

By Carol Drogus
Posted January 1, 1997
Tags Faculty Books
What happens when liberation theology's attempt to mobilize the Brazilian poor for political and social change meets the realities of church, community, and culture in this predominantly Catholic country? In Women, Religion, and Social Change in Brazil's Popular Church, Hamilton Government Professor Carol Ann Drogus assesses the successes and failures of the movement as she documents how religious personality and gender affect the way the urban poor on the eastern outskirts of Sao Paulo respond to the liberationist message.

Utilizing in-depth interviews and participant-observation plus theoretical insights from feminist scholarship and the sociology of religion, Drogus explains how poor lay women are indeed motivated to create strong social movements especially as they concern the well-being of children. However, the advent of liberation theology did not generate the overall, enduring radical political action or commitment which had been expected within the Popular Church.

All who are interested in Latin American studies, political science, sociology, anthropology, religion, and women's studies will gain much from Drogus's first-hand reports and careful analysis of the role of women, who are the majority participants in the Popular Church.

Reviews

"This analysis will help in understanding the powerful potential and profound limitations inherent in a religious attempt at social and political change." -National Catholic Reporter

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