Abstract: Drawing on anthropological research in Oaxaca, Mexico, this article describes the role of health seeking in women’s experiences with Pentecostal conversion. The present study confirms that Pentecostalism’s promise of reforming problematic male behavior is a significant draw for women. Women’s stories of conversion are strikingly consistent in their accounts of male drinking, womanizing, and domestic violence. However, the findings also demonstrate that when efforts to domesticate men fail—and they often do—women still find significant ways in which Pentecostalism addresses suffering. The study provides a unique contribution to the literature by exploring that paradox in detail.
This article analyses how social subjects from low-income communities in a historically peripheral country like Brazil access and process the economic ideas now prevalent in the contemporary world by examining the rationalizations involved in the adherence to the individualist message of prosperity theology. Based on the classical Weberian premise of a relation between religious ethics and economic ethos (Weber, Max. 1987. A Ética Protestante e o Espírito do Capitalismo. São Paulo: Livraria Pioneira Editora), I analyse the commitment of faith made with the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God by members of a network of worshippers formed by around 20 men aged between 18 and 45 years with low levels of schooling, living in favelas of Rio de Janeiro, in order to comprehend how the principles of neoliberal cosmology, adopted as central elements of Brazilian economic policy since the 1990s, have been incorporated by people from the poorest sectors of urban Brazil.