Title

Religious Engagement, Civic Skills, and Political Participation In Latin America

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2020

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

School

Social Science and Global Studies

Abstract

To what extent has the growth of Evangelicalism in Latin America contributed to political participation across the region? A number of scholars of religion and politics in the United States have suggested that Evangelicalism promotes the development of civic skills necessary for political engagement, while the Catholic Church, due to its hierarchical structure, provides fewer opportunities for skill acquisition. In this paper, we apply this debate to Latin America to test whether civic skills developed in Catholic and Protestant church activities lead to differential participation rates in 18 countries. We utilize the 2014 Pew Religion in Latin America survey to test these effects, and find that Protestant churches do indeed promote skill‐developing activities at higher rates, but that Catholics, when involved, are more likely to translate this religious participation into political action. We conclude that political scientists must better understand the organizational role of religion in promoting political engagement worldwide.

Publication Title

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

Volume

59

Issue

1

First Page

101

Last Page

118

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