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Open AccessArticle

Popular Religions and Multiple Modernities: A Framework for Understanding Current Religious Transformations

Institute for Advanced Studies, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago 7500618, Chile
Religions 2019, 10(10), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100565
Received: 1 August 2019 / Revised: 18 September 2019 / Accepted: 22 September 2019 / Published: 1 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Power, and Resistance: New Ideas for a Divided World)
Popular, ethnic, and folk religions endure in all regions of the planet, but specially in underdeveloped or developing non-Western countries. The main objective of this paper was to propose a framework for understanding this popular religious trend. Although religion in general has previously been linked to multiple modernities, the revitalization of popular religions has not. While Eisenstadt’s original theory of multiple modernities has been criticized on several aspects, his interpretative approach is valid provided that the contradictory dynamics of modernizing processes are recognized. The epistemological shift suggested by this article involves recognizing the biases that Western sociology has brought to its analysis of religions. Once we treat modernities as multiple, the specificity of each modernity opens up the spectrum of religious alternatives that flourish in every geo-cultural area. The growing diversity of popular religious expressions in the Global South stems from the fact that they are supported by thousands of believers. Their lived religions spills beyond religious institutions. These popular religiosities are the main sources of religious diversities and religious resistance in the context of multiple modernities. Lived religion and symbolic action allow us a better understanding of the magical-religious expressions of peoples of the world.
Keywords: popular religions; multiple modernities; lived religion; religious diversity popular religions; multiple modernities; lived religion; religious diversity
MDPI and ACS Style

Parker, C. Popular Religions and Multiple Modernities: A Framework for Understanding Current Religious Transformations. Religions 2019, 10, 565.

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