Ruth Melkonian on Latin American Protestants
Date: May 2nd, 2011
Prof. Ruth Melkonian — assistant professor and chair of political science at Gordon College (Wenham, MA) — discusses her research on Protestantism in Latin America. We cover the history, growth and sociodemographic characteristics of Protestantism in Latin America, noting that although prompted by missionaries Protestantism has taken on its own indigenous flavor in the region. We note that the dominant form of Protestantism in Central and South America tends to be evangelical, Pentecostal or neo-Pentocostal. Prof. Melkonian notes how those involved in Protestant circles tend to see small improvement in their socio-economic stature, but not enough to have a major impact on economic growth in the region. We also talk about whether or not Protestantism has helped to promote or sustain democracy in the region. Our discussion turns to survey research Ruth conducted with Dennis Hoover showing that Latin American Protestants hold attitudes that are more similar to their non-evangelical brethren in the region than their U.S. counterparts, particularly in terms of attitudes towards economic and military affairs (e.g., war on terr0r). We finish the podcast by talking about how evangelicals in the United States have viewed immigration from south of the border, and how Global South Christianity may be transforming religion here in the U.S. Recorded: April 21, 2011.
Prof. Ruth Melkonian’s website at Gordon College.
“Latin American Evangelicals: Made in Whose Images?” by Ruth Melkonian and Dennis Hoover.
The Reformation of Machismo: Evangelical Conversion and Gender in Colombia, by Elizabeth Brusco.
Rendering unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America, by Anthony Gill (not mentioned by name in the podcast but referenced, and the opportunity to show listeners that I’m an author and not just a pretty voice).
Philip Jenkins on Global Christianity.
Darin Mather on Evangelicals and Racial Attitudes.
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