Events Calendar
Mar 28
13:00 - 14:30
Between Religious Syncretism and Change: Understanding the Logics Organising 'Judaising Evangelicalism' in Brazil
Religious and Asian Studies Work in Progress Seminar
Manoela Carpenedo (University of Kent)

Abstract: Based on an ethnography conducted between 2013–2015 within a religious community in Brazil, this paper investigates a growing religious movement fusing beliefs and identity claims deriving from Judaism and Charismatic Evangelicalism. The Brazilian 'Judaising Evangelicals' comprise an expanding community of former Charismatic Evangelicals which are adhering to strict observance of Jewish laws; where, for instance, exclusively kosher food is consumed, women respect menstrual taboos (niddah) and perform strict modesty codes (tzniut), including the use of headscarves. Unlike other Christian tendencies adhering to Zionist discourses and Jewish ritual and paraphernalia, this particular community calls for a radical reformation of Charismatic Evangelicalism while maintains the veneration of Jesus. In contrast to other Philo-Semitic Christian movements (i.e. Christian Zionism, Messianic Judaism), which strongly preserve a Christian core of beliefs ethos and Christian identities, the 'Judaising Evangelicals' from Brazil are gradually detaching themselves from Christianity by strictly observing Jewish written and oral law based on rabbinic understandings. Drawing on Sahlins' theoretical elaborations on cultural change, this paper explores the organisation of this community's hybrid religious project. By analysing the role of former Christian tenets in the radical transformation of this group, the case of the 'Judaising Evangelicals' suggests a new framework for understanding the preservation of past beliefs in religious change processes.

Manoela Carpenedo is a Brazilian social scientist and ethnographer dedicated to understanding new syncretic religious movements and their intersections with gender and ethnicity in Latin America. Manoela is currently an associate lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Kent. She studied Social Psychology (BA, UFRGS - Brazil/Tubingen University - Germany); Gender Studies (MA, University of Oviedo - Spain/CEU - Hungary) and Sociology (MPhil & PhD, University of Cambridge - UK). Her latest article 'Collective memory in the making of Religious Change: the case of "emerging/recovered" Jews followers of Jesus' can be found in the recent issue of Religion Journal.


Seminar Room,
The Gulbenkian,
University of Kent,
United Kingdom


Open to all,

Contact: Lois Lee


Corporate Communications - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 1227 764000

Last Updated: 10/01/2012