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Religion, law and secularism: a new civic repertoire in Contemporary Brazil

Grant number: 15/24267-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2016
Effective date (End): April 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Urban Anthropology
Principal Investigator:Paula Montero
Grantee:Gustavo Aires Tiago
Host Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/02497-5 - Religion, law and secularism: a new civic repertoire in Contemporary Brazil, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):16/12920-5 - The Universal Church in Portuguese urban context: a spatial and ethnographic analysis of the occupation strategies of urban space by the UCKG in Lisbon and Porto, BE.EP.IC


Brazilian society, even when it comes to its secular development, has been historically constituted by Catholicism. However, since the end of the 1980s, it is possible to recognize a reconfiguration of Brazilian secularism after the Pentecostal churches expressive expansion which includes a strong influence in the Parliament, media and governmental institutions. In this project we are working with the following hypothesis: the recent competition for the civic and political space by other religions has two consequences one is the decline of the normative hegemony of the Catholic Church and the other is the juridification of the social relations - or in a more encompassing sense, the translation of the regulation of disputes between collective agents into the code of law. Among other changes, all religions had to produce public speeches in the juridical and political language recognized by constitutional democracies, such as Human Rights, tolerance and religious freedom, in order to be able to state their convictions. A main objective of this project is to research how each religion spread their repertory of salvation, universalism and differentialism into the secular semantics and in which way this can be seen as a reconfiguration of the civic matrix that guides and provides meaning to the discursive practices in the public sphere in contemporary Brazil. We propose to divide this project in three working groups: the first will investigate the relations between juridical normativity and social agents, the second the evangelicals involved in party politics and the religious and secular mobilizations in the public sphere, the third the production of civic and religious subjectivity when homoaffectivity is concerned. (AU)

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