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The formation of a secular society in Brazil: religious controversies on public education from 1927 to 1961

Grant number: 13/16433-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2013
Effective date (End): May 22, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal researcher:Paula Montero
Grantee:Carlos Eduardo Valente Dullo
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):14/18063-1 - Religious and secular education: a comparative approach, BE.EP.PD


This Project aims to analyze the formation of a secular society in Brazil's first half of 20th century. Our proposal is to research public controversies and the conflicts around the creation of a secular public education. We plan to discuss three cases: the first is "Reforma Fernando de Azevedo", a reconstruction of public education made by Fernando de Azevedo in the Republic Capital from 1927 to 1930; the second is the confrontation between the "pioneers" of the New School movement and the catholic group along the 1930s; the third is the long debate (1948-1961) to establish the legal marks and educational basis to national education. Fernando de Azevedo is present in all those three moments: he was the responsible for the Reform, writer of the Manifest of the "pioneers" of 1932 and, also, of the 1959 manifest, Mais uma vez convocados [Called, once more] - when he reorganized the fight for the public school in opposition to the interests of the catholic group and private schools. The hypothesis is that the confrontation between those two socio-political projects - of a Christian society and a secular society - was constitutive of Brazil's secularity. The research focus, therefore, on the debate around the "formation of the secular" and in the specific development, since the First Republic, of a public sphere in constant confrontation of religion and politics.

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