Helena Vilaça

Docente do Ensino Superior

Faculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto (FLUP)


Helena Vilaça holds a degree in sociology from Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas of Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She has a PhD in Sociology since  2003, from Faculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto, where she is a professor in the department of sociology. She was an invited professor of the department of Teologia da Universidade de Uppsala (Suécia) in 2011. And since 2013, she has been a member of the Council a committee member of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion.

She is a researcher at the Instituto de Sociologia da Universidade do Porto (IS-UP) and her scientific work is dominantly focused in the topic of religion, such as religious and ethic pluralism; migration, ethnicity and religion; Portuguese Catholicism, Protestant and Evangelical Communities. She has researched this topics in several groups and international projects, among which we point out: “L’Église catholique face aux nouveaux défis Éthiques, sociaux et politiques” (2009-2013), within the group GERICR, financed by Ministry of Science from Spain; “Imigração, etnicidades e religião: comunidades religiosas e Imigrantes da Europa de Leste” (2008-2010), supported by FCT; “Church and Religion in an Enlarged Europe” (2004-2008), supported by The Volkswagen Foundation; “Religious and Moral Pluralis” (1995-2001), financed by European Science Foundation. She is also national coordinator of EUREL (Sociological and legal data on religions in Europe).

Interested in the relation between evangelical Christianity and modernity, she is currently investigating the phenomenon of planting and revitalising local churches in Europe and particularly in Portugal, their presence in the cyberspace, and the role of reverse mission, example, the arrival of missionaries to Europe from the south of the globe, from countries like Brazil and the African continent in the European re-Christianization. 



Her published works include the following books: Da torre de Babel às terras prometidas : pluralismo religioso em Portugal, Afrontamento, 2006;Religião em movimento: migrações e comunidades religiosas na Itália e em Portugal, Estratégias Criativas, 2010, (Coord. com E. Pace.). Portrait du Catholicisme au Portugal (in A. Perez-Agóte, (Coord.) Portraits du Catholicisme : une comparaison européenne), Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2012 (coautoria com M. João Oliveira); The Changing Soul of Europe: Religions and Migrations in Northern and Southern Europe, Ashgate, 2014 (Coord. com E. Pace, I. Furseth and P. Pettersson); Ethical Challenges of the Catholic Church in Portugal: the Case of Same-Sex- Marriage (in K.Dobbelaere, Karel & A. Perez-Agóte (Coord.) The Intimate: New Conflicts between Religion and Politics), KADOC, Leuven University Press, 2015 (coautoria com M. João Oliveira). 

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