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25 CES Open Forum Series

The Muted Vibrancy of Roman Catholicism in Contemporary Portugal: Corporal Works of Mercy in a Time of Austerity

Feb 17, 2016 Paul Christopher Manuel


This paper concerns the role and function of religious-based organizations in strengthening associational life. Taking Portugal as a case study, it asks whether the concept of muted vibrancy provides theoretical understanding to the role of Catholicism in contemporary Portuguese society. That is, how might a church in a newly consolidated democratic regime, in a time of economic crisis, with a past relationship to a fascist regime, and with declining numbers of adherents, contribute to the deepening of democracy?