Our population practices both traditional and organized religions, like various forms of syncretism in everyday life. Nonetheless, religious organizations and its practices in some occasions have been addressed in a critical way, taking into consideration its negative effects on our social lives. It is to say that it seems there is a social consensus that understands these implications and consequences are exclusively positive. The religious person provides direction for everyday living, in explicit and implicit ways. Although the less institutionalized versions of the practices, at the present time, called by some people the 'New Spirituality' do not escape the archaic visions of the religious, and it is structured in the same way as ancient organizations. The themes tackled by the book manifest central preoccupations of the authors around the religious insertion into everyday affairs, concentrating on the negative implications. These include the impact on personal and social health of the country, the religious regulation of sexuality, and finally, the legal implications of religious proliferation in Puerto Rico. The works presented in this book contribute to generating a critical reflection around the role of organized religion in Puerto Rico and its adverse implications.
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Nelson Varas-Diaz is the associate professor of the Graduate School of Social Work Beatriz Lasalle of the University of Puerto Rico. Also, a visiting professor from the Psychology Program of the School of Medicine of Ponce. He obtained his Doctorate in Social and Community Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico. He is the author of Estigma y Diferencia Social: VIH/SIDA en Puerto Rico, Stigma and Social Difference: HIV/AIDS in Puerto Rico. He is also the editor of the book Estigma y Salud en Puerto Rico: Consequencias Detrimentales de lo Alterno, Stigma and Health in Puerto Rico: Detrimental Consequences of the Alternative. His investigative work has been published in profesional publications that include 'Revista Interamericana de Psicologia' 'Interamerican Journal of Psychology' 'Revista Latinamericana de Psicologia' 'Latin American Journal of Psychology' 'Revista PuertorriqueÃ±o de Psicologia' 'Puerto Rican Journal of Psychology' 'Qualitative Health Research' 'American Journal of Community Psychology' 'AIDS Education & Prevention' 'Qualitative Report' and 'Global Public Health' among others. He has served as Secretary General of the Interamerican Pschyology Society and is the editor of the 'Revista Puertorriquena de Psicologia' 'Puerto Rican Journal of Psychology' published by the Association of Psychology of Puerto Rico. He has been recognized as the Researcher of the Year 2008 by the Carlos Albizu University and Behavioral Science Magazine . His investigative interests include social stigma, HIV/AIDS, social politics, developmental discussions on identity of health and sickness, prevention of violence and investigational methods.
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