Download New Era - New Religions (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in by Andrew Dawson PDF

By Andrew Dawson

"New period - New Religions" examines new types of faith in Brazil. the biggest and so much brilliant nation in Latin the US, Brazil is domestic to a few of the world's quickest growing to be spiritual activities and has enthusiastically greeted home-grown new religions and imported religious routine and new age businesses. In Brazil and past, those novel non secular phenomena are reshaping modern understandings of faith and what it capability to be spiritual. to raised comprehend the altering face of twenty first Century faith, "New period - New Religions" situates the increase of recent period religiosity in the broader context of late-modern society and its ongoing transformation.

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The moral-rational emphases of Spiritist doctrine, its formal religious character, and the importance of the written word to key parts of its repertoire combine with its historical trajectory to make Spiritism (like traditional Protestantism) predominantly a religion of the urban middle classes. The federative nature of denominational structures and doctrinal emphases upon autonomous action, however, make for a diverse Spiritist community. In recent years, the growth and influence of AfroBrazilian religions and neo-Pentecostalism have further pluralized Brazilian Spiritism as previously unacceptable or unheard of ideas and approaches are included within the repertoires of growing numbers of Spiritist centres and organizations (Cavalcanti, 1983: 21; D’Andrea, 2000: 156; Stoll, 2002: 388).

Traditional esotericism and the initiatory societies that practice it have been officially present in Brazil since the first decades of the twentieth century. For example, the Esoteric Circle of the Communion of Thought (Círculo Esotérico da Comunhão do Pensamento) was founded in São Paulo in 1909, the Brazilian wing of the Theosophical Society officially opened in Rio de Janeiro in 1919, and the Anthroposophical Society of Brazil (with adherents in Porto Alegre as early as 1910) founded in São Paulo in 1935.

By offering such instruction and exhortation the visiting spirit is held to be performing an act of charity for which merit is earned that might speed its evolution or help expiate prior misdemeanours. Second, and of greater significance to Spiritists in general, the act of mediumship offers inhabitants of this world opportunity to earn merit or expiate past wrongs by performing spiritual acts of a charitable nature. 12 12 Spiritual acts of charity are complemented by acts of social charity performed on an individual and collective basis.

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