Fieldwork in Religion, Vol 2, No 1 (2006)

A Phenomenological Study of the Gnostic Church of Brazil

Andy Dawson
Issued Date: 20 Sep 2007


Integrated increasingly within the globalizing system of late-modernity, Brazil is undergoing widespread transformation in every sphere of its economic-political, social-cultural and religiousspiritual life. Once a bastion of Roman Catholicism, Brazil is today home to some of the fastest
growing non-Catholic religious movements, has greeted enthusiastically a number of homegrown and imported new religions and is witnessing the growth of alternative spiritualities and mystical practices. Together these new and alternative forms of late-modern religiosity are reshaping
contemporary understandings of religion and what it means to be religious. This article builds upon fieldwork undertaken in Brazil in recent years to offer a phenomenological study of a
neo-esoteric organization called the Gnostic Church of Brazil (Igreja Gnóstica do Brasil). After locating the Gnostic Church of Brazil within its surrounding neo-esoteric landscape, the article details its origins, discourse and practice. Concluding remarks signal the possibility of organizational transition within the Gnostic Church of Brazil from a more to a less traditional repertoire of action.

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DOI: 10.1558/fiel2007v2i1.27

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