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A social and intellectual history of Brazilian Protestantism, 1860-1950

Grant number: 19/14369-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2020
Effective date (End): September 11, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal Investigator:Angela Maria Alonso
Grantee:Pedro Barbosa de Souza Feitoza
Host Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This postdoctoral research proposal aims at examining the dissemination and growth of Protestantism in Brazil in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries through the lens of the agents who propagated the new religion at grassroots level. Following recent work on African Christianities, this research will focus on the key agents of Christianisation in this period: lay Christians and local ministers. They adopted and adapted innovative evangelistic strategies in Brazil and weaved evangelical Christianity into the fabric of Brazilian everyday life and culture. Furthermore, the research here proposed will study the making of Protestant thought and theology in Brazil. It will examine the tracts, periodicals, books, and theological treatises produced and translated by missionaries and Brazilian ministers and show how evangelical thought emerged out of a constant and creative intermediation with debates circulating in the country's public sphere. Engaging with recent work on global intellectual history, this research will investigate the ways in which Brazilian Protestant ministers appropriated ideas and concepts from an international intellectual arena and channelled them into the country's religious, social, and political debates. This research will show how both ordinary believers and religious specialists manipulated and modified the theological and devotional repertoire of evangelical Christianity, de-centring Protestantism and locating it into Brazilian culture and history. (AU)

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