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Religious diversity in Brazil and Canada

Grant number: 13/50403-4
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2013 - November 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Cooperation agreement: Consortium of Alberta, Laval, Dalhousie and Ottawa (CALDO)
Principal Investigator:Paula Montero
Grantee:Paula Montero
Principal investigator abroad: Lori Beaman
Institution abroad: University of Ottawa (uOttawa), Canada
Home Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:11/02948-6 - Religions and public controversies: experiences, social practice and discourses, AP.R

Abstract

This project proposes a comparative research program on religious diversity in Brazil and Canada. In both cases there are multiple religious agents challenging the limits of the public space and its configuration. Some of the most outstanding features of the Brazilian religious field are its immense diversity of creeds, its ongoing capacity to invent new religions, and the widespread belief in God's existence among the major part of the population. The Brazilian religious field has undergone profound transformations in contemporary Brazil. Alongside the decline of the Catholic Church hegemony and the Pentecostal Protestantism advance the debate on secularsm is becoming increasingly fierce. Paradoxically, civil society testifies the increasingly significant religious' presence in public debate, and, at the same time, religious actors appropriate the secular discourse of science to attract new adherents. Hence, we understand that there is the need to examine the peculiarities of the religious field in the Brazilian and Canadien society as well as how religious differences coexist. More than that, it is pressing to look at the ways in which religion is defined in each society and how this definition delimitated the boundaries between the private/public domains. (AU)