Gender, Catholicism, and Morality in Brazil: Virtuous by M. Mayblin

By M. Mayblin

Throughout the ethnography of a Catholic group in Northeast Brazil, Maya Mayblin deals a shiny and provocative reconsider of gendered portrayals of Catholic existence. For the citizens of Santa Lucia, lifestyles is conceptualized as a chain of ethical tradeoffs among the sinful and efficient global opposed to an idealized kingdom of innocence, conceived with regards to neighborhood Catholic teachings. As marriage marks the start of a effective existence on the planet, it additionally marks a section during which ethical personhood comes so much actively—and poignantly—to the fore. This ebook deals lucid observations on how women and men as husbands and other halves, fathers and moms, negotiate this problem. in addition to making a major contribution to the ethnographic literature on morality, Christianity, and Latin the USA, the booklet deals a compelling replacement to acquired portrayals of gender polarity as symbolically all-encompassing, in the course of the Catholic international.

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Extra resources for Gender, Catholicism, and Morality in Brazil: Virtuous Husbands, Powerful Wives (Contemporary Anthropology of Religion)

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3 Even during the late 1960s and 1970s, when Brazil’s military dictatorship propelled the country toward rapid industrial growth, millions of Northeasterners continued to suffer high levels of unemployment, hunger, and disease (Pereira 1997). Poverty in the Northeastern sertão has also been intensified by periodic incidences of drought that have forced thousands of inhabitants to leave their homes. The famines suffered were exacerbated by the failure, on the part of the ruling elite, to invest in proper irrigation projects and to stem the environmental degradation caused by cash crop production and large-scale cattle farming.

Santa Lucians make virtually no reference to the concept of the Devil (O Diabo) in their day-to-day speech and moral-ontological reasoning—something that appears to be in keeping with the increasingly rationalist direction of modern forms of Catholic theology prominent within the region. During my stay, I failed to record even a single instance in which the Devil was referred to in the course of a church sermon. Occasionally, the priest would utilize the term evil (mau) to describe a somewhat diffuse and generalized state of opposition to God, however, Satan (or Lucifer) as evil personified never once made an appearance.

Rather than viewing such emulation as significant primarily in terms of salvation in the hereafter, Santa Lucian people are just as likely to view Jesus’ incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection in the world as proof that heaven may be achieved in the here and now. Over the course of my fieldwork, I came to realize that although Santa Lucian people clearly acknowledge a split between o mundo (this-world) and a world hereafter, such as o céu (heaven) or o paraíso (paradise), they remain relatively uninspired by heavenly or Eden-like concepts of time and place.

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