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Secularizing reclaims and iconographic regimes: the role of religious images in Brazilian secularism reconfiguration

Grant number: 15/26464-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2016
Effective date (End): May 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal researcher:Paula Montero
Grantee:Evandro de Sousa Bonfim
Home 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


The placing and destruction of holy images in civil spaces are not private acts originated from historic controversies among religious groups in Brazil. In current demands for more Laicity of the Brazilian State, secularized agents as social movements (LGBT, feminists, animal rights) and media corporations and press professionals, are especially engaged in public secularizing acts to denounce the undue presence of religious elements in civil society, as seen in the formulation of laws and even religious intolerance actions. However, such secularizing acts understood by the activists themselves as artistic performances whatever they are performed as public parades or happenings, or under the form of press images (as photojournalism, cartoons, caricatures), have been used in iconographic materials from the religious imagery, mostly in Christianity. So, such images have particular principles of production, circulation and disposal which deserve more analytical attention. Iconophilia and iconography take part of Christian attitudes towards images, shedding light to the mobilizing power of the image as political component able to integrate secularizing agents' agenda, even through the handling of religious aesthetic. The objective of the research lies precisely in analyzes how an iconographic repertoire takes part of the current dispute for more Secularity in Brazilian society and their relationship with religious imagery, especially Christian. (AU)

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