Cecilia Mariz with Brenda Carranza
Dr. Cecília Mariz is a Professor of Sociology at Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her main topic of research has been religions in Brazil, mainly Christianity. In the last 30 years, she has conducted studies on how religions in Brazil relate to, among other topics, poverty, gender ideology, media, cultural changes. She is currently developing research on youth and religion. She is the author Coping with Poverty (Temple University Press, 1994) and has also co-edited two other books. She has published in journals such as Social Compass, Latin American Research Review, Religion and Society: Advances in Research.
Dr Brenda Carranza is Professor of Sociology at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas, Campinas, SP, Brazil. Her main research interest is Catholicism, and its relation to gender, media, urban culture and youth. Author of the books Renovação Carismática Católica: origens mudanças e tendências (Editora Santuário, 2000) and Catolicismo Midiático (Ideias e Letras, 2011), she has also edited books and published several articles. Some of her most recent publications discuss topics like syncretism and popular religion in Santiago de Cuba, media language and religion, Christian pentecostalisation and urban transformations, and Pope Francis in Brazil.
“The Holy Ghost Spirituality and Politics in Brazil”
The twentieth century witnessed the consolidation of one of the most significant phenomena of Western Christianity: the growth of Pentecostalism. Initially restricted to the Protestant realm, it also reached Catholicism. Because of its remarkable plasticity this movement became successful worldwide. Despite its North American origins, it was quickly adopted and led by various people and ethnic groups. Local leaders are its main propagators. In Latin America, the impact of Pentecostal churches in the indigenous world changed the religious field of countries such as Guatemala, among others. In Brazil, despite its plurality of expression and continuing transformation, Pentecostalism has particular characteristics. One of its main features is “this-worldly” proactive attitude in the public sphere, as leaders organize events and are themselves media and political actors. Here we will compare Brazilian Pentecostal Protestant and Charismatic Catholic Renewal leaders’ discourse in order to discuss how this apparently individualistic and enchanted spirituality assumes political roles. We also discuss to which extent these leaders’ political discourse and attitudes may contribute to building a democratic culture and valuing the autonomy of political citizens.