Dados vol. 41 n. 1 Rio de Janeiro 1998

Marx, Religião e Política: O Protestantismo Conservador Norte-Americano como Ópio do Povo

Cavalcanti, H. B.


Political scientists and sociologists alike have been intrigued by the phenomenon of low voter turnout in US elections during the second half of the 20th century. This paper explores the connection between religious affiliation and rising political alienation in America during this period. Recent studies on religion and politics in Latin American countries have identified lower-class religion, or the so-called church of the poor, as a catalyst that mobilizes the poor to engage in political action aimed at reforming or overthrowing political regimes. Using a Marxian framework and working with statistical analyses, this study shows that lower-class religion in America has the opposite effect. When all significant secular determinants of political alienation are controlled for, affiliation with conservative Protestant churches is shown to be significantly and positively related to nonvoting.

Palavras-chave: Marx; religion and politics; US presidential elections; political alienation; conservative Protestantism.

DOI: 10.1590/S0011-52581998000100006

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