New Religious Capital, Conversion, and Drug Rehabilitation: Evangelical Social Projects in Baja California, Mexico

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 8:42 AM
Room: Harbor Lounge B
Oral Presentation
Ramiro JAIMES MARTÍNEZ , Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Tijuana, Mexico
Rebecca MOORE , Department of Religious Studies, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
The aim of this paper is to analyze certain changes in evangelical identities and their religious capital in the religious field at Baja California, following the impact of charismatic movements and the crisis of denominational models during the 1980s, and their relation to the expansion of the so-called "Christ-therapy” in Rehabilitation Centers for drug addicts. From a general perspective, religious capital suffered a series of rearrangements within their referents mainly anchored in doctrines, practices and preconceptions relatively unchanged until last decades of the twentieth century.

Therefore, this work raises the question of whether the expansion of a new ecclesiastical model of openness to society in Pentecostals and Charismatic churches, especially in Northern Mexico, may explain the growth of Evangelical Christians, with new forms to mobilize symbolic capital and social participation.

In this sense, many of these churches have found that an increasing demand for rehabilitation of drug users, and the withdrawal of the Mexican State from the health sector, has opened a space to apply their social change projects based on individual conversion. To study the above, this paper analyzes some cases of Rehabilitation Centers in Tijuana, and Ensenada, Baja California.