Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Secularization in Argentina

  • Juan Cruz EsquivelEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_375


First of all, secularization needs to be considered as a polysemous concept. Secularization used to be understood by some as a process of functional differentiation of modern Western society. In that framework, economics, politics, science, and religion consolidate as autonomous fields, being legitimized by the principles inherent to each of them (Weber 1984). From that perspective, with the advent of modernity and the expansion of scientific rationality, secularization was regarded as an irreversible loss of the central position held by religion in medieval societies (Wilson 1969). It was also predicted that religion would unavoidably become confined to private life or even disappear (Stark and Bainbridge 1986).

As a result of the permanence or return of religious institutions, actors, manifestations, and discourses in the most varied areas of social life, the envisaged decline of religion has been revised, and secularization has been redefined in terms of the continuous...


Religion Society Authonomy Public sphere 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Council of Scientific and Technical ResearchUniversity of Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina