Bakker, A. Werneck De Andrade


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Promo Master Anthropology



Across Jesus and ‘the Culture’: Heritage Formation and Conversion to Pentecostal Christianity among the Pataxó Indians in Brazil

This research explores the relationship between two processes that have concurrently evolved amidst the Pataxó Indians from Southern Bahia, Brazil: on the one hand, their escalating concern with their cultural heritage (or, in their own terms, with “rescuing the culture”); on the other hand, their thriving movement of conversion to Pentecostal Christianity. Echoing larger scale, analogous movements in South America, Africa, and elsewhere, both the phenomena of ethnic “resurgence” and of conversion to Pentecostalism have been receiving privileged attention from researchers, who have nevertheless approached them in rather unarticulated ways, yielding two distinguished bodies of debate. Seeking to articulate these debates, the research inquires over the following foundational concerns: how do processes of heritage formation relate to conversion to Pentecostalism? What are the implications of conversion – and the critical ruptures with traditional life-worlds it customarily entails – in contexts of pressing concern with the authenticity (and authentication) of “culture”? How do the social dynamics and cultural values surrounding heritage formation and Pentecostal conversion come to impinge on each other? In addressing such questions, the research seeks to advance both the debates surrounding processes of “ethnogenesis” and of the configuration of a globalized Pentecostal culture by discussing their entanglement in the same life-world – and what such entanglement entails for the emergence of particular forms of cultural heritage (and not others) and of indigenized life-forms of a global Pentecostalism.



Publications (Source: VU METIS)