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Religions 2018, 9(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010014

From Religious Diversity to Political Competition: The Differentiation Process of Pentecostalism in Brazil

Department of Religion Sciences, Pontifical Catholic University of Goiás, 134, R. 235, Setor Leste Universitário, 74605-080 Goiânia, Brazil
Received: 11 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 5 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Diversity in a Pluralistic Society)
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Abstract

The growing religious diversity in Brazil has more to do with a differentiation process within Pentecostalism itself than with the presence of very diverse religious groups. Starting with the analysis of such differentiation process, the article aims to discuss the need of terminological improvement and eventually the necessity of Keynesian rules adopted by the State to regulate ultraliberal religious markets. In unequal societies and religious markets such as those in Brazil, Pentecostal leaders’ greedy attitudes regarding their own adherents and aggressive intolerance against other religions’ followers are coherent with a functionalist religious market conception. In this view, highly aggressive strategies of some Pentecostal churches vis-à-vis other adversaries are seen as belonging to the normal functioning of a (neo-liberal) self-regulated social subsystem. Therefore, reflections on religious diversity inspired on a market model assume neoliberal macro conditions (total deregulation and free competition) as granted or desirable. Religious diversity would appear as the “natural” consequence of religious competition. However, put in Beckford’s terms, how can religious pluralism be achieved under terrible conditions of religious diversity? Intolerant attitudes of neo-Pentecostal leaders undermine the very bases of democracy and put the discussion on religious diversity and pluralism under new theoretical and political exigencies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pentecostalism; religious diversity; intolerance; neoliberalism; Brazil Pentecostalism; religious diversity; intolerance; neoliberalism; Brazil
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Moreira, A.S. From Religious Diversity to Political Competition: The Differentiation Process of Pentecostalism in Brazil. Religions 2018, 9, 14.

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