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Openness to God and breach to the Devil: deliverance from demons among Catholics in São Paulo, Brazil

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Ypuan Garcia Costa
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Paula Montero; Amir Geiger; Jose Guilherme Cantor Magnani; Oscar Calavia Saez; Carlos Alberto Steil
Advisor: Paula Montero

This dissertation is an ethnographic study concerning the deliverance from demons among Christians who gather in a prayer group and/or are members of a Catholic community in São Paulo/SP, Brazil. Based on fieldwork developed between 2013 and 2016, its aim is to describe a mode of existence in which to deliver is not to ditch, to separate, or to emancipate, but rather to attach, to become closer, and to commit oneself ever more intensely to God. Predicated on this, I argue that deliverance is not an event, but a life-long commitment to walk with God. Consequently, it is not a path towards individual freedom and autonomy: it is devoted to strenghten the alliance with divinity and, therefore, instigates the Devils efforts to open a breach in the persons openness to God. The communion with God and the demoniacal opposition to it are the thrust of the ethnography, which analyzes its reverberations in the following instances: the ways of speaking; the parental relationship with God and its consequences for human kinship; the cure of various types of malaise; the relationships established through charity work; and the unavoidable presence of unknown intentions in objects that are part of daily life. These analytical steps converge to the proposition that Gods omnipresence (in everything) and the Devils quasi-omnipresence (in almost everything) can only be possible in a world whose defining quality is being open. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 12/13750-5 - Deliverance in Catholic Charismatic Renewal: a study of religious experience
Grantee:Ypuan Garcia Costa
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate