Smiderle and Mesquita, “Political Conflict and Spiritual Battle”

Smiderle, Carlos Gustavo Sarmet Moreira and Wania Amelia Belchior Mesquita. 2016. Political Conflict and Spiritual Battle: Intersections between Religion and Politics among Brazilian Pentecostals. Latin American Perspectives 43(3): 85-103.

Abstract: A new interpretation of Evangelical actors’ increasing participation in Brazilian political and electoral contests is that elements of Pentecostalism predispose a believer to see the world as the site of an eternal struggle between God and Satan. The belief in demons that have territorial jurisdictions, known as territorial spirits, is one aspect of this theology. The cognitive universe of this belief induces the Evangelical voter to make electoral decisions on the basis of religious premises. It teaches the voter to conceive, without much reflection, the spiritual battle and the electoral game as territorial disputes.

Engler, “Dona Benta’s Rosary”

Engler, Steven.  2015.  Dona Benta’s Rosary: Managing Ambiguity in a Brazilian Women’s Prayer Group.  Journal of the American Academy of Religion.  Early online publication.

Abstract: This article describes the rituals and beliefs of an upper-class Catholic women’s prayer group in a small city in southeast Brazil. My interest centers on why there is so little friction within the group when it would seem to have several potentially significant internal and external tensions. There are stark doctrinal differences between members: some have very liberal and even syncretic beliefs while others express very conservative, exclusive Catholic beliefs. At the same time, the group—despite certain unorthodox beliefs and practices—maintains close relations with representatives of the local Catholic Church and prays jointly on occasion with an evangelical group. I suggest that four aspects of the group allow it to manage ambiguity in ways that prevent tensions: relations between charisma and doctrine, levitas, flexible framing, and sociodoxy. These concepts emerge from the study’s grounded theoretical approach.

Rebhun, “Living Saints, Dead Saints”

Rebhun, Linda-Anne. 2016. “Living Saints, Dead Saints, and Ordinary Women in Northeast Brazil.” In Religious Diversity Today: Experiencing Religion in the Contemporary World. Edited by Liam D. Murphy, 131-152. Santa Barbara: Praeger.

Excerpt: “I met Maria do Rosario when I was conducting anthropological research in the city of Caruaru, in the inland portion of the Northeast Brazilian state of Pernambuco. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw a transition from military to civilian government, as well as massive rural to urban migration in the area…Maria do Rosario’s neighbors told me that she was a saint who had taken a vow to Saint Rita of Cascia, patron saint of bereaved mothers and abused wives…Many Catholics, like Maria do Rosario, practice local versions of Catholicism, shaped by regional history and folklore as well as Church theology.”

Ikeuchim, “Back to the Present”

Ikeuchim, Suma.  2015. Back to the Present: The ‘Temporal Tandem’ of Migration and Conversion among Pentecostal Nikkei Brazilians in Japan.  Ethnos.  Early online publication.

Abstract: This article contributes to the emerging area of research in the anthropology of Christianity that focuses on mobility and temporality. It does so by elaborating on the concept of ‘temporal tandem’, which is defined as a process of joint temporalization by which seemingly disparate projects of migration and conversion become interlocked. Pentecostal converts among Brazilians of Japanese descent (Nikkeis) in Japan will serve as a case study to delineate this concept. Temporality figures as a central theme in their stories of migration to the supposed ancestral homeland as well as in their narratives of conversion in Japan. I will illustrate the ways in which conversion addresses common concerns regarding time among the migrant converts, such as ‘putting aside living for the future’. The article concludes with an observation that Nikkeis often experience Pentecostal conversion as a ‘return to the present’, where life is no longer perceived to be suspended.

Bonfim, “Glossolalia and Linguistic Alterity”

Bonfim, Evandro.  2015. Glossolalia and Linguistic Alterity: The Ontology of Ineffable Speech. Religion and Society 6(1): 75-89.

Abstract: This article proposes a revised definition of glossolalia based on the ritual value of incomprehensible speech, which allows for an approach to meaning emergence in non-human languages and the issue of extreme linguistic alterity. The main social and acoustic features associated with glossolalia will be presented through the case study of a Christian charismatic community in Brazil (the Canção Nova), showing us how linguistic evidence supports different notions of Christian personhood and an iconic-based communication between human and divine beings.

de Abreu, “Worldings”

de Abreu, Mari Joé A.  2015. Worldings: the aesthetics of authority among Catholic Charismatics in Brazil.  Culture and Religion.  Early online publication. 

Abstract: In this article, I show how conceptions of religious authority among Catholic Charismatics in Brazil relate to particular aesthetic regimes. By aesthetic regime I mean the processes of decision-making by which a particular economy of the visible is negotiated and situated, the underlying forces that constitute what is sensory apprehensible and what remains latent, one might say, unworlded. Focusing on the relation Catholic Charismatics have with the statue of Christ Redeemer standing at the Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, the text engages with the material politics of this religious movement and the theological domains that undergird it.

Oosterbaan, “Mediating Culture”

Oosterbaan, Martijn. 2015. “Mediating Culture: Charisma, Fame, and Sincerity in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.” In The Anthropology of Global Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism. Simon Coleman and Rosalind I.J. Hackett, eds. 161-176. New York: NYU Press.

de Abreu, “Worldings: the aesthetics of authority among Catholic Charismatics in Brazil”

Abstract: In this article, I show how conceptions of religious authority among Catholic Charismatics in Brazil relate to particular aesthetic regimes. By aesthetic regime I mean the processes of decision-making by which a particular economy of the visible is negotiated and situated, the underlying forces that constitute what is sensory apprehensible and what remains latent, one might say, unworlded. Focusing on the relation Catholic Charismatics have with the statue of Christ Redeemer standing at the Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, the text engages with the material politics of this religious movement and the theological domains that undergird it.

Løland, “The Position of the Biblical Canon in Brazil”

Løland, Ole Jakob.  2015. The Position of the Biblical Canon in Brazil: From Catholic Rediscovery to Neo-Pentecostal Marginalisation.  Studies in World Christianity 21(2): 98-118.

Abstract: This study analyses the historically significant shifts in the diffusion and reception of the bible in Brazilian Christianity. It questions whether Brazil is turning Protestant, given the marginalisation in Brazilian neo-Pentecostalism of scripture, which is the fundamental pillar of Protestant faith. While scripture has traditionally been marginal to Brazil’s popular Catholicism, it was regarded as the primary medium for access to the sacred in classical Pentecostalism. Whilst Brazilian Catholicism rediscovered the bible through the liberation theology movement, a contrary trend of marginalisation of scripture is evident in the Brazilian neo-Pentecostal church Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (IURD). Although there is a performative use of the bible in IURD, the original meaning of the biblical texts is given little weight within this performance. Based on this evaluation of the bible’s position, the article suggests that neo-Pentecostalism stands in continuity with popular Catholicism and discontinuity with classical Pentecostalism in relation to the biblical canon.

Valente, “Institutional Explanations for the Decline of the Congregação Cristã no Brasil”

Valente, Rubia R. 2015. Institutional Explanations for the Decline of the Congregação Cristã no Brasil.  PentecoStudies 14(1).

Abstract: For the first time since its inception, the Congregação Cristã no Brasil (CCB) has lost members – two hundred thousand members in the last decade – while other traditional Pentecostal churches’ membership continue to grow. Based on survey research data, this study explores the diverse views of church members and how institutional factors affect the growth of the church. Two opposing views among church members are identified: fundamentalism and progressivism. Besides providing empirical data, this work engages a wider debate on how the strict nature of the CCB leadership, based on a traditional authoritarian model, is unwilling to adapt to cultural and social changes, giving rise to discontent, tensions, and schisms.