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The manipulation of popular religiosity by drug trafficking at the epicenter of the world drug market represents a challenge for Latin American theology. How might it reflect on popular religiosity in areas replete with cartels? How might it help popular religiosity to become the fruit of true justice without imposing the judgmental worldview of enlightened elites? This article will attempt to answer both questions over the course of four sections. First, it will describe the history of Latin American revaluations of popular religiosity as a theological starting point. Second, it will demonstrate the conceptualization of popular religion by Latin American and Hispanic scholars and theologians in the United States. Third, it will analyze how drug trafficking permeates popular religiosity in Latin America. Finally, it will propose an appropriate pastoral and theological approach to popular religiosity in areas affected by drug trafficking.


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20 Jul 2022
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  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Publisher
    • Princeton Theological Seminar

  • Date submitted

    20 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Author Biography:

      Alfredo Ignacio Poggi is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Georgia. He holds a B.A. in Media Studies and an M.A. in Philosophy from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (Venezuela), an M.T.S. in Theology from Boston College, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. He has published a book, eighteen articles, and four book reviews, and he has edited an issue of a prestigious academic journal. His research focuses on political ideologies, post-/decolonial theories, and theology. After his undergraduate studies, he worked as a scriptwriter and producer at HBO Latin America for several years. He also worked as a copywriter at J. Walter Thompsons and as a journalist at El Nacional, the largest newspaper in Venezuela. His academic career began with teaching communication theories and conducting research on poverty and development at UCAB for three years. During those years, he was the coordinator of a prestigious social science research project in Venezuela supported by the US Government to strengthen the country ́s democracy. At the same time, as a volunteer, he created a TV show to promote NGOs and people engaged in social justice in the poorest neighborhoods of Caracas. Finally, for many years, he had a rock band called "Unos panas ahí" with several radio hits in Latin America and Spain.

      Book or Journal Information:

      Theology Today