Religion and Populism in Latin America: The Populist Potential of Christianity (Third of Three Seminars in the Populism and Religion Series) - Ole Jakob Løland

15 November 2022 16:15 to 18:00 Seminar

With its high levels of economic inequality and its recent history of political scandals, Latin America can be regarded as a heartland of populism. Being the global region with the highest percentage of Christians, Latin America serves as a highly relevant case for the populist potential of contemporary Christianities. Three recent figures stand out as illustrative examples: First, some aspects of Pope Francis’ theology arguably contain typical elements of Latin American populism. Second, the populist discourse of Venezuela’s former president Hugo Chávez exemplifies how Christian metaphors and legacies can sustain an inclusionary populism of the left. Third, Christianity has been deployed for more exclusionary purposes in the right-wing populism of Brazil’s president since 2018, Jair Bolsonaro.

Ole Jakob Løland is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South-Eastern Norway. He has published on biblical reception, political theology and Latin American Christianity. Over the last four years, he has undertaken an investigation of the first Latin American Pope, the Argentinean Jorge Mario Bergoglio, better known as Pope Francis, also in relation to populism. His most recent book, co-authored with colleagues, is Global Christianity. Current Trends and Developments (2022).

About the Seminar Series
The seminar series on populism and religion focuses on theoretical, philosophical and theological dimensions of populism. Certain conceptions of politics – including political community, political processes and political decision-making – characterize typical formulations of populist thought. A fundamental conviction of this seminar series is that we must investigate these very conceptions if we want to engage in dialogue that goes beyond plain-sense descriptions or explanations of certain facts, and which deeply addresses questions about how society is – and ought to be – organized. Descriptive language and references to facts cannot by themselves account for all the questions posed by society, let alone provide the answers.

We welcome to our seminars a range of intellectually interested parties, including senior and junior scholars, doctoral students, and beginners. In order to reach the broadest possible audience, the default language of our seminars is English, but occasional seminars may be hosted in Danish, French, German, Norwegian, or Swedish.

About the event:

15 November 2022 16:15 to 18:00

Zoom: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/62152616728 Meeting ID: 621 5261 6728


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