Conflicts and violence in structuring metaphors of the Santo Daime, a religious and environmental movement in the Brazilian Amazon
Keywords:Amazon River Region, Brazil -- History, Environmentalism, Ecology, Violence, Ritual, Healing, Drinking customs, Experience (Religion), Santo Daime (Cult), Syncretism, Christianity and Amerindian religions, Catholic Church -- Brazil, Shamanism
AbstractIn this article it is shown how conflicts and violence have influenced the development of Santo Daime, a religious and environmental movement in the Brazilian Amazon. By discussing three interrelated aspects (1) Violence and conflict in Santo Daime history; (2) Ideas about good and bad spirits; and (3) Santo Daime environmentalism, the author shows the relatedness between the members’ experiences of conflicts and violence in their history as rubber tappers and conflicts and violence as structuring metaphors in their daily ritual practices. The kind of moral practice that once began as a way to deal with the threat of conflict and violence has today turned into an enduring strategy that permeates members’ undertakings in matters related to environmentalism. Not only has it been crucial in shaping a new lifestyle among members, centring as it does on environmental concerns, but it has also moved the Santo Daime movement closer to more ‘worldly’ actors concerned with the future of the natural world. Although by sharing a common cause with such interest groups, Santo Daime members have been able to do so without loosing their distinct identity as members of a religious healing movement.
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Copyright (c) 2006 Titti Schmidt
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