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Ernesto de Martino and the the ritual: analytical perspectives

Grant number: 23/07960-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2024
Effective date (End): June 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Theory of Anthropology
Principal Investigator:Maria Cristina Pompa
Grantee:Maria Cristina Pompa
Host Investigator: Sergio Botta
Host Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Italy  


The project aims to brig to the Brazilian debate the work of the Italian anthropologist and historian of religions Ernesto de Martino, widely known in the English-speaking, French-speaking and Latin world, but almost unknown in Brazil. Developed more than five decades ago, the Demartinian theory is extremely fertile because it anticipates contemporary theses on ritual performance, embodiment and relationship between religion and care. It is no coincidence this author is being rediscovered in the international anthropological field. The Italian scholar's proposal is of particular relevance for the study of religious rituals that involve altered states of consciousness, or trance, which are the basis of many religions in Brazil, which attract many new members in the contemporary world. The researches on these religions generally privilege the spirituality, the relationships between agents or, more recently, between religion and the public sphere, but they don't give much attention to ritual practice. De Martino, on the contrary, privileges the analysis of practices, drawing on an inedited perspective, based on the intercrossing between history of religions, anthropology, existential phenomenology and psychoanalysis, stating that the mythical-ritual complex is a protective technique against the risk of not-Being-in-the-world, in other words, the risk of psychopathological crisis. A rigorously historical survey contributes to a critical reflex on the historical path both to the phenomena we define as "religious" and to the concepts we use to study these phenomena. An exploration of Demartinian theory and methodology, starting from a period in Italy, under the supervision of prof. Sergio Botta, at La Sapienza University of Rome, which conserves the archive of Ernesto de Martino, can shed new light on religious practices in contemporary Brazil. (AU)

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