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Competitive Spirits: Latin America's New Religious Economy

ISBN-13: 978-0195314861
ISBN-10: 0195314867
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Editorial Reviews


"This boldly argued book is the best statement available to date of the political economy model as applied to the study of religious change in Latin America. The author providesa a wealth of data on the emergence and extraordinary growth of pneumacentric (spirit-centered) religions in Latin America. A significant book, with a powerful argument, convincing results, and a range of operational concepts that the author applies very effectively to explain a range of phenomena in a unified and consistent way."-- Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

"This is a bold, meticulous, and highly provocative study of Latin America's free-market religious economy. In identifying a high level of 'consumer demand for spirit-centered religion,' Chesnut has employed a dynamic and controversial model for understanding the reasons behind the rapid growth of Pentecostalism, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and the religions of the African diaspora in Latin America during recent decades. This is rich, engaging, and important study that should provide grist for scholarly debate for some time to come."--Virginia Garrard-Burnett, Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas, Austin

"Andrew Chesnut has written the must-read book on Latin American religion. The theoretical insights and empirical depth of this work are simply astounding. While specifically concerned with Brazil, Mexico and Guatemala, Chesnut's conclusions about the dynamism of charismatic religious movements extend well beyond these geographical confines. Indeed, anyone interested in contemporary religious movements will find this book indispensable."--Anthony Gill, author of Rendering Unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America

"This is a very rare achievement: first rate history combined with an admirable grasp of social science, expressed in stylish prose. The result is a work of very great significance that not only describes, but helps to explain, the remarkable religious changes going on in Latin America."--Rodney Stark, University of Washington

"Chestnut's work comprises a fine analysis of the contemporary Latin American religious scene that should be read by anybody interested in this topic."--Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies

About the Author

R. Andrew Chestnut is a Professor of Latin American History, University of Houston.

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