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US illustrated family bibles and the emergence of Brazilian Protestant visual culture

Grant number: 18/18803-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2019
Effective date (End): December 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Theology - History of Theology
Principal Investigator:Helmut Renders
Grantee:Lidia Kameyo Ueda
Host Institution: Diretoria de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa. Universidade Metodista de São Paulo (UMESP). Instituto Metodista de Ensino Superior (IMS). São Bernardo do Campo , SP, Brazil


Visual culture is one of the privileged fields for the analysis of the structures and historicity of religious practices. The proposed project is a branch of the project "Evangelical visual culture: its emergence" of Helmut Renders (FAPESP: Process 2015.13737-7 Regular Project / Project 64/2015 CONSUN / Umesp) and focuses on the visual culture present in Illustrated Family Bibles (Pictorial Family Bibles), created in the USA around 1846 and brought to Brazil by Protestant Mission. Since the end of the 19th century, there has been a renewed awareness within Protestantism of the performative force of religious visual culture, which has led it to explore its pedagogical and ritualistic dimension through the widespread diffusion of religious images in bibles, ecclesiastical magazines, and engravings with religious content for public and private use in the homes of their memberships, in Sunday Schools, in worship, and in the propagation of their religious convictions. Within this broad field, the research of this scientific initiation will be limited to: (1) the survey of the image content, through the photographic survey of the images of an Illustrated Family Bible, of the UMESP collection; (2) to investigate and to raise the functions and relevance of these images, analyzing their content, their origin and the possible purpose among the protestant of the mission; (3) interpretation of their styles, themes, their contents, among others. The general objective of this research is to contribute in the academic scope to the knowledge and approach of the importance of the evangelical visual culture present since the arrival of Protestantism of the mission in Brazil; as specific objectives: (1) to know the characteristics of the imaginary content present in an Illustrated Family Bible, considering its probable contribution to the development of a specific Protestant religious imaginary; (2) make specific studies about the images found, using the method of Erwin Panofsky, pre-iconographic, iconographic and iconological reading. Due to the lack of knowledge of the subject and the lack of scientific studies on the existence of an evangelical visual culture, it is understood the need and relevance in the approach to this theme. (AU)

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