Claire Marie Cesareo

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Current Projects

Proposed for 2019-2020 - Lisbon, Portugal
Transnational Spirituality: The Growth and Transformation of Brazilian Religious Movements in Portugal.

As Manuel A. Vásquez and Cristina Rocha have recently argued, Brazil emerged on the global stage during the early twenty-first century as a major source of diasporic religious creativity and innovation (2013:2). Nowhere is this more evident than in Portugal, the seat of the former colonial empire that controlled Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau, among other nations. Over the past twenty years, several Brazilian religious movements have taken root in Portugal among Brazilian immigrants and Portuguese natives, as well as among immigrants from other ex-colonial nations, affecting the religious landscape of a country that has long been characterized by the virtual monopoly of Roman Catholicism (Dix 2009). Among these movements are the Brazilian Spiritist religion known as Kardacism (Lewgoy 2004; Martinho 2017), which includes the eclectic Vale do Amanhecer or Valley of the Dawn, the Afro-Brazilian religions of Umbanda and Candomblé (Bastos 2001; Guillot 2010; Saraiva 2010), and various forms of Brazilian Pentecostalism such as the Assemblies of God and the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (Dix 2009).

Shared religious practices often serve as the transnational sites where the cultural identity of immigrants is created and maintained. Using a literature review and ethnographic field methods, this project will investigate the following principal questions:

- What role do diasporic Brazilian religions play in creating and maintaining a sense of brasilidade or “Brazilianness” for Brazilian migrants to Portugal?

- For what reasons are Portuguese natives and immigrants from other nations drawn to these religions?

- What transformations have occurred in these religions as they are practiced in the diaspora?

Religious Iconography in Tattoo Design in the United States.

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