The Politics of the Spirit

The Politics of the Spirit : The Political Implications of Pentecostalized Religion in Costa Rica and Guatemala

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The Politics of the Spirit is a masterful study of the political effects of evangelical Protestantism in Central America. Timothy Steigenga's thoughtfully crafted work questions whether the spread of Protestantism in Latin America has reinforced authoritarian elements in political culture or deepened nascent democracy. Steigenga provides a thorough review of the literature on religion and politics in Latin America, putting many of the hypotheses generated in this literature to the test through an analysis of comparative survey data and qualitative interviews.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 159 x 238 x 22mm | 467g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739101897
  • 9780739101896

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Preface: The Significance of Religion in Political Life Chapter 2 Introduction: Invasion of the Sects or Heralds of the New Reformation? Protestants and Politics in Latin America Chapter 3 Catholics and Protestants in Central America: Understanding Context and Explaining Evangelical Growth Chapter 4 The Politics of Religious Affiliation: Testing a Model Chapter 5 Guatemala: From Missionaries to Presidents in Central America's Most Protestant Nation. Chapter 6 Costa Rica: Religion and Politics in a Context of Democratic Reform Chapter 7 The Religious Politics of Gender: Orthodoxy, Patriarchy and Machismo. Chapter 8 Conclusion: The Politics of the Spirit: The Political Implications of Pentecostalized Religion
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Review quote

Timothy Steigenga's work leads us to the juncture of important future studies. Its provocative and meticulous conclusions, laid out cleanly without rhetorical flourishes or over-reaching analysis, suggest exciting new venues for research in ecumenical political behavior, gender analysis, and in religious behavior in civil society. * American Political Science Review * This is an excellent study. . . Steigenga has produced a thoughtful, complex, and nuanced analysis of a major development in contemporary Central and Latin America. * Journal of Church and State * This book is carefully researched and offers new insights for both political scientists and scholars of religion. It will make an excellent teaching resource for an advanced level course. * Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review * In showing how the link between religion and politics is meditated by multiple factors, The Politics of the Spirit makes a valuable contribution...Beyond providing good accounts of the histroy and current state of Protestantism in Guatemala and Costa Rica, The Politics of the Spirit enriches our theoretical and methodological conversations about the changing face of religion in the Americas. -- Manuel A. Vasquez, University of Florida * Latin American Studies * Timothy Steigenga adds important quantitative and comparative dimensions to our knowledge of Protestantism in Latin America without sacrificing a nuanced understanding of religion as a sociopolitical variable gained from earlier work. He stresses the influence of national context-often invisible in case studies-while also attempting to capture the microlevel aspects of religious belief all too often lost in large surveys. He sheds new light on the complexity of predicting the ways in which the pentecostalization of religious belief will affect Latin American society and politics. -- Carol Ann Drogus, Hamilton College
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About Timothy J. Steigenga

Timothy J. Steigenga is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University.
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