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Paula Montero Lecture

jeu, mars 20, 2014


Event/Evènement: Critical Thinkers in Religion, Law and Social Theory Lecture/Lectures critiques sur la religion, le droit et la théorie en sciences sociales

Location: University of Ottawa, Simard Hall, Room 125/ Université d'Ottawa, Pavillon Simard, Salle 125

Time/heure: 4pm-5:30pm/16h à 17h30

Title/titre: Secularism’s Dependency, Religion’s Necessity

Abstract/résumé: This project proposes a comparative research programme on religious diversity in Brazil and Canada. In both cases there are multiple religious agents challenging the limits of the public space and its configuration. Some of the most outstanding of the Brazilian religious field are its immense diversity of creeds, its ongoing capacity to invent new religions, and the widespread belief in God’s existence among the major part of the population. The Brazilian religious field has undergone profound transformations in contemporary Brazil. Alongside the decline of the Catholic Church hegemony and the Pentecostal Protestantism there is an intensification of debates about what it means to be a secular society. Paradoxically, civil society gives evidence to the increasing significance of religion in public debate and at the same time religious actors appropriate the secular discourse of science to attract new adherents.

Bio/biographie: Paula Montero is a full professor at the University of São Paulo, and she is President of the Brazilian Center of Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP). After researching a PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of São Paulo, she was invited to Columbia University (1984) as Visiting Scholar of the Institute of Latin American Studies, and to the University of Chicago (1996) as a Tinker Visiting Professor. Since 1983, she has been interested in popular religions in Brazil. In recent years she has focused on issues of intercultural relations and multiculturalism; her latest work has centered on Christian missions among the Amazonian Indians. At present she is studying new forms of religious organizations, and their activities in the modern public sphere.

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