Date of Birth 3 August 1948
Place Santiago (Chile)
Nomination 19 January 1994
Resignation 19 February 2013
Nomination 2 June 2020
Title Emeritus Professor
Most important awards, prizes and academies
Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences of Chile (1997-); Member of the editorial board of Revista Humanitas, Chile (1989-1993); Member of the International Council of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Visiting professor at the Pontifical Lateran University, at the Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla, México, at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon de San Juan, Puerto Rico. Doctor Scientiae et Honoris Causa of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (2019).
Summary of scientific research
Within the field of "the sociology of culture", the main line of research developed over the last twenty-five years has been the study of the relationship between oral, written and audiovisual cultures, especially with reference to Latin-American cultures. These last have sought to develop their own ways of conciliating the Baroque tradition – which has been the basis of their historical identity - with the megatrends of contemporary modernisation. These ways centre around the functional organisation of their activities and the rationalisation of their social processes. Particular attention has been devoted to the study of religious meaning and its social legitimation through important social activities such as: producing, saving and spending; the formation and maintenance of political and social leadership; the upholding of the "rule of law" and the defence of respect for human rights; taking care of the health of the population; the promotion of the leading role of the family in education and in the transmission of values; and many other activities associated with the family. The religious factor has been of great importance in the history of Latin-American countries and has helped to shape a special religious consciousness, which, indeed, is the most important hermeneutic key by which to understand their cultures.
His publications include the following books: Synkretismus und offizielles Christentum in Lateinamerika. Ein Beitrag zur Analyse der Beziehung zwischen 'Wort' und 'Ritus' in der nachkolonialen Zeit.. Fink Verlag. München, 1982; Cultura y Modernización en América Latina. Cuadernos del Instituto de Sociología. Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Santiago, 1984 (Reissued by Encuentro Ediciones, Madrid 1987 and by the Instituto de Estudios de la Sociedad, Santiago 2017); Iglesia y Cultura en América Latina. Editorial VE, Lima, 1989 (Reissued 1990); Persona, Matrimonio y Familia, Ediciones UC, Santiago 1994 (Reissued 1994); Familia y Sociedad, Editorial Universitaria, Santiago 1999, América Latina: Identidad y Futuro, Instituto Mexicano de Doctrina Social Cristiana, México 2007, Ritual y palabra. Aproximaciones a la religiosidad popular latinoamericana, Instituto de Estudios de la Sociedad, Santiago 2011, Textos sociológicos escogidos, editado por Andrés Biehl y Patricio Velasco, Ediciones UC 2017, Textos escogidos en antropología cristiana, editado por Sofía Brahm, Ediciones UC 2017 y Escritos sobre Universidad, editado por Sofía Brahm, Ediciones UC 2018.
He has also published more than hundred articles in Chile and abroad regarding the family, the cultural identity of Latin America, its baroque ethos, and the cultural challenges posed by modernization process in Latin American countries.
Instituto de Sociología
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Santiago de Chile
What Can Be Learned from the Experience Of Religious Freedom In Latin America? (PDF) 2011
Subsidiarity in Chilean Education (PDF) 2009
Comment (PDF) 2006
Comment on "Persons: Points of Condensation in a Sea of Living Interactions" (PDF) 2005
Comment on José Raga’s: ‘Welfare and Devolution to Local Government or Mediating Institutions’ (PDF) 2004
The Impact of 'Globalization' on Cultural Identities (PDF) 2001
El desarrollo de una nueva "Cultura del Trabajo" en la perspectiva de la reducción de la integración social a través del empleo (PDF) 1997
Social Inequality in the Social Sciences. A Social Philosophical Perspective (PDF) 1994