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Participatory Democracy the Case of the Brazilian Ecclesial Base Communities: 1981-1991

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In the early stages of Brazil's democratisation, ecclesial base communities (CEBs) were regarded by liberation theologians as models for a participatory democracy. However, as democratisation advanced, this model became increasingly difficult to uphold. Reasons for this included differences among liberation theologians on how to approach the fact of political options presented by political parties, the increasing polarisation in the institutional Catholic Church which had previously supported the CEBs, and weaknesses within the CEBs themselves which effectively limited national political participation.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Religion and Philosophy Roanoke College, Salem Roanoke, Virginia, 24153 United States of America, Email:


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