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Religion, Society and Culture

Religion, Society and Culture


The study, in interdisciplinar perspective, of the multiple interfaces which are established between society, culture asnd the religious field – institutions, movements, organizations, religious practices and experiences –, using instruments of social sciences, history, economics, psychology, pedagogy, theology and philosophy.


Research Line 1: Religion and sociocultural dynamics


Study of the inter-relations of institutions, organizations, movements and subjects, and their respective religious practices, with the social, cultural, economic and political processes in their dynamics of reproduction and transformation, emphasizing studies of gender, power, daily activities, peripherals and media.


Research Line 2: Religion and psychosocial and pedagogical dynamics.


Study of the psychosocial, pedagogical and missiological aspects of the religious practices and experiences in the contemporary world, as well as the impacts and influence of daily transformations in religious practices and experiences.


Mandatory Discipline of the area:


Religion Society and Culture: epistemological issues

It analyzes the process of production of knowledge concerning the relation between religion, society and culture, mapping the interpretative current and theoretical paradigms of religious dynamics in various cultural contexts.


Optional disciplines:


Psychology and Religion

It identifies and analyzes the relations between religion and psychology. It studies critically the anthropologies, ontologies, values and understandings of salutogenic and pathogenic religiousness, implicit and explicit in several theories of personality in different cultural contexts.

Religious Dynamics and Therapeutic Processes

It analyzes the relation between religion and therapeutic processes, mainly in situations of personal, family and social conflict and crisis arising from illness, death, mourning, inequality, poverty and violence; prioritizing the systemic nature of conflicts generating suffering in the Latin American context.

Education and Religion

It analyzes the relation between religion and educational processes in society, studying the pedagogical practices of religious institutions and organizations and also the theological and spiritual assumptions of educational proposals.

Culture, Religion and Educational Processes

It analyzes the relations between culture, religion and education in contemporary societies. It studies culture as an educational process which assumed the function of “teaching” the basic values of personal life and society, and the educational religious practices which reproduce and/or oppose the dominant values in society.

Gender and Religion

It analyzes, in the light of different theoretical-methodological propositions of the studies of gender, the way in which religious representations, practices and discourse influence and are influenced by the social relations of sex, and their interchanges with race/ethnicity, class and generating aspects.

Contemporary Religious Movements and Institutions

It describes and interprets contemporary religious dynamics, analyzing the symbolic production of religious movements and institutions of recent origin. It studies by priority rupture and continuity of religious traditions, their hybrid processes of assimilation, incorporation and transformation into different sociocultural contexts.

Messianic and millenarian movements

It analyzes the dynamic relations between the Jewish-Christian messianic matrix and its variances in different cultures. It studies the social and historical conditions which lead to messianic and/or millenarian eruption, emphasizing the production and reception of the sacred by communities in times of crisis, as well as the relations between religion, power, social layers, hope, utopias and beliefs.

Social Sciences and Religion

It maps and analyzes the theoretical-methodological contributions of classical and contemporary authors of Social Sciences for the study and understanding of the religious phenomenon.

Religion, Power and Political Practices

It studies the relations of power, domination and contestation constructed in the interfaces between the political and religious spheres, in the light of sociology, anthropology, history and political science. The political-religious practices of the social group, religious movements and institutions are emphasized, in their relations and distribution of power, both in the internal relations and in their relations with the social context in which they occur.

Sociocultural transformations and religion

It studies the transformations of the practices and religious imaginary in the scope of wide-reaching social changes. It seeks in the study of the hegemonic religious traditions and in the memory of dissident movements elements for understanding and criticizing religion currently and its implications for daily life, religious plurality and social transformations in the contemporary world.

Social History of Religions

It studies, in compared perspective, different religious movements and institutions, highlighting their similarities and differences, their processes of diffusion, conservation and re-execution of their frontiers and conceptions of orthodoxy and heresy, as well as of their religious manifestations and attitudes.

Media Culture and Religion

It studies, from an interdisciplinary optic, the intersection of religion and media as a characteristic phenomenon of contemporary media culture. It analyzes the social construction of the media culture, the impacts of the new media forms on religion and its presence in the means of communication.

History and Theology of Christianity in Latin America

It studies the strategies of insertion and reproduction of Christianity in Latin America, the dialog and opposition in the religious field, its internal transformations and tendencies and its relevance to current social demands and local cultures.

Theology and economics

It studies how the economic-political field incorporated in the market system theological-messianic values and principles; and how the economic logic, dynamics and discourse were assimilated in the contemporary religious field.

Contemporary Pastoral Practices

It examines, in inter and transdisciplinary perspective, contemporary pastoral practices. It studies cultural, anthropological and psychosocial factors which interact with these practices and analyzes the theological elements which correspond to them or are assumptions.

Mission and Culture in Latin America

It studies, in interdisciplinary perspective, different practices of mission of the Christian movements and institutions, their theological foundations in different historical periods. It prioritizes the study of ecumenical and missionary bodies, Congresses and Conferences, problematizing the relation between mission and culture in Latin America.

Religious Discourse and Liturgies

It studies, in interdisciplinary perspective, different forms of religious discourse and liturgical practices and their development in the different cultural and religious traditions, and how the liturgical acts are assimilated and recreated in other cultures.

Studies of Protestantism

It analyzes the historical origins of the movements, institutions, beliefs and practices arising from the Reform of the 16th century and its implications in the expansion of the West and construction of modernity.

Religion in the Urban World in Latin America

It studies the role of religions in the modern urban world, religiously plural and at the same time secularized. It looks at historical, social and economic aspects which explain the urbanization and constitution of the outskirts in the metropoles as an expression of the social inequality of Latin American societies and their effects in the religious field.

Emerging themes in Religion, Society and Culture

It studies themes of recent academic relevance in the field of relations between culture, religion and society. It prioritizes the interdisciplinary approach, open to new theoretical trends and innovating methodological proposals in the research of religions.

Issues of Method in History and Cultural Studies of Religion

It studies different historiographic methods and cultural studies in order to improve the methodology for studying religions on the frontiers of the modern global system. It analyzes the concepts underlying the interpretation of religion and their role in preparing cultural and religious identities.

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