Practices of sacralization: A theoretical proposal for a sociology of (popular) religion from Latin America

Eloísa Martín

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The concept of “popular religion” is among the most frequent to arise in debates on religion in sociology. Nevertheless, there is often disagreement on the scope of this concept and its definition, which are the result of an implicit and indiscriminate notion of religion. This chapter identifies three main groups of work that describe and apply different definitions of popular religion. The first considers popular religion as the religion of the “people.” The second focuses on the “functions” that popular religion fulfill among the poorest sectors of the population as a way of dealing with deprivation. The third group suggests the existence of a “different logic” to analyze religious events. Based on the main literature produced in Latin America on the subject, this chapter proposes a workaround to the problems raised by coining and discussing the concept of “practices of sacralization.”.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Latin America
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780190926557
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Latin america
  • Lived religion
  • Popular religion
  • Practices of sacralization
  • Sociology of religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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