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Secularization and religious experience in the fiction of José Saramago

Grant number: 14/14514-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2015
Effective date (End): June 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Other Vernacular Literatures
Principal researcher:Marcos Aparecido Lopes
Grantee:Ana Maria Ferreira Côrtes
Home Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The present research aims to analyze the novels Memorial do Convento (1982; Memoirs of the Convent) and O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo (1991; The Gospel according to Jesus Christ), written by Portuguese author José Saramago, in view of the process of secularization of the Western world. Initially, the concept of secularization will be discussed, in the different meanings it acquired over time, as well as its historical origin and the supposed consensus that we live in a secular age. The research will also investigate how the two novels interpret the process of secularization. Furthermore, it wil seek to verify whether and to what extent the concept in question can be understood, in the works of Saramago, a way of approach, instead of rupture, in relation to the religious experience of the Christian tradition, according to the proposals of Gianni Vattimo (1998). With this, we will discuss, on a preliminary basis, the presence and evolution of the concept of secularization in the work of the Portuguese novelist.