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Developing A Historical Sociology Of Nationalism And State Secularization In Latin America

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Chapter Summary

Debates about "secularization" have been productively revisited in recent years. Recently, Latin American scholars working predominantly in a different tradition - the French school of studies of laicité exemplified by Rene Remond, Jean Bauberot, Elisa Cardenas Ayala, Roberto Blancarte, and others - have begun to lay the groundwork for the comparative analysis of church-state relations in the region. Importantly, Cárdenas Ayala has called for a "comparative history of secularization in Latin America". This chapter makes some preliminary claims so as to contribute to this broader project. It defines the four main stages of church-state relations in Latin America: (i) initial conflict; (ii) radicalization; (iii) recovery; and (iv) acceptance of pluralism. Each stage has its own conflicts that need to be worked out, and they get resolved in different ways.

Keywords: church-state relations; Latin America; radicalization; secularization



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