Ordinary Academicians

Pedro Morandé


Pedro Morandé

Date of birth 03 August 1948

Place Santiago, Chile (America)

Nomination 19 January 1994

Field Sociology

Title Emeritus Professor

  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Self-Presentation

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.

Main publications
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 VelascoEdiciones 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.

My name is Pedro Morande. I am Chilean, born in August 1948 in Santiago de Chile. I am a sociologist who obtained his diploma in 1971 at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and his Ph.D. in sociology at Erlangen-Nürnberg University in West Germany. I am married to Vivianne Dättwyler, also a sociologist, and have two daughters of 50 and 49 years old who have studied Law and Psychology respectively.

Although I was newly appointed to the Academy in 2020, the truth is that I have belonged to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences since 1994, when Pope John Paul II appointed me as one of the founding members of this new Academy that he separated from the Academy of Sciences. I stayed in the Academy until Pope Benedict XVI retired in 2013. At the time I thought that my work should finish because the newly elected Pope should have all the positions at his disposal. So I stepped down as member of the Academy, but was unexpectedly nominated again by Pope Francis in 2020. I participated in the Synod on the mission and role of the laity in 1987, in the Latin American Bishops’ Conference of Aparecida in Brazil in 2007 and I have been an advisor on the Council for the Family and the Council for Culture of the Holy See.

In 1991 I entered the staff of the Institute of Sociology of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, a university to which I dedicated my entire academic work. I became a Full Professor there before the end of the foreseen age limit for academic work. During this long period of time I received the “Monseñor Carlos Casanueva” prize for academic excellence, the honorific title of Professor Emeritus and, finally, the honour grade of “Doctor scientiae et honoris causa” of the same university. I have published seven books and over a hundred papers in scientific journals, written in Spanish, English, German, Italian, French, Portuguese and other Slavic languages. I have been visiting professor in Rome, Madrid, Mexico City, Bogotá, Lima, Tucumán and Buenos Aires. I was the co-founder of Humanitas, the journal of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, which will publish its hundredth issue this month. I am also a member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences of the Institute of Chile, according to the French model.

My academic work has been devoted to the study of religion and cultural phaenomena in Latin America, and specially their impact in the social evolution in modern history. My work has considered issues of stratification, employment, education and governability in the great cities, in human migration, in intergenerational relationships, and how all these factors impact the traditional religious and cultural symbolism of baroque heritage.

I am convinced that the principal effect of modernity on traditional cultures has been brought up from “nihilism” which represents the impossibility of a positive definition of being and reality. Nihilism is only an empty definition of reality, which produces a disintegration of people and their separation from the historical culture they have built. Therefore, I have oriented my studies on families and cultures searching for the possibilities they have at hand to develop their own capacities to understand themselves and to help people in order to construct a better future.

Professional Address

Instituto de Sociología
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Casilla 114-D
Santiago de Chile

What Can Be Learned from the Experience Of Religious Freedom In Latin America? (PDF) 2011

Subsidiarity in Chilean Education (PDF) 2008

Comment (PDF) 2006

Comment on Persons: Points of Condensation in a Sea of Living Interactions (PDF) 2005