Competitive Spirits

Competitive Spirits : Latin America's New Religious Economy

3.8 (10 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

R. Andrew Chesnut shows how the development of religious pluralism over the past half-century has radically transformed the "spiritual economy" of Latin America. In order to thrive in this new religious economy, says Chesnut, Latin American spiritual "firms" must develop an attractive product and know how to market it to popular consumers. Three religious groups, he demonstrates, have proven to be the most skilled competitors in the new unregulated religious economy. Protestant Pentecostalism, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and African diaspora religions such as Brazilian Candomble and Haitian Vodou have emerged as the most profitable religious producers. Chesnut explores the general effects of a free market, such as introduction of consumer taste and product specialization, and shows how they have played out in the Latin American context. He notes, for example, that women make up the majority of the religious consumer market, and explores how the three groups have developed to satisfy women's tastes and preferences. Moving beyond the Pentecostal boom and the rise and fall of liberation theology, Chesnut provides a fascinating portrait of the Latin American religious landscape.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 198 pages
  • 144 x 248 x 22mm | 879.98g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • numerous halftones
  • 019516184X
  • 9780195161847

Review quote

...an ambitious book that draws upon an impressive array of research on religion in Latin America. * Stephen Selka, Hispanic American Historical Review * ... commendably ambitious, short and sacrilegious ... Competitive Spirits is an important contribution. It casts light in unexamined corners and it will induce argument. * Journal of Latin American Studies *show more

Rating details

10 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
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4 70% (7)
3 10% (1)
2 10% (1)
1 0% (0)
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