1st Edition

Epistemic Ambivalence Pentecostalism and Candomblé in a Brazilian City

    118 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book delves into the complex relationship between religious imaginaries and the perception of space among followers of Candomblé and Pentecostal churches in Belo Horizonte, Brazil's third-largest urban agglomeration.

    It adopts a dual perspective, examining the broader political, economic, and social dimensions of these religious communities' urbanisation and spatial distribution and their members' individual beliefs and behaviours. Through this approach, the book aims to provide a nuanced and insider's view of these religious positions, challenging our preconceived notions of urban spaces and contributing to the larger discussion of decolonial urban theory and spatialised post-secular thought.

    This transdisciplinary book will appeal to a broad range of researchers, particularly those interested in urban and religious studies. Its strong spatial perspective makes it attractive to architects and urban designers. It will be of interest to those in human geography, urban planning, design, architecture, political science, religious studies, and culture studies.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC) 4.0 license.

    1. Introduction: The confusing religious landscape in Brazil

    2. Flattening power structure (we have been being preached to)

    3. Conquer or hide

    4. Profane space does not exist

    5. Religious infrastructure

    6. Temple, street, home, and nature

    7. Interlude: Religion and music (Daniel’s story)

    8. Beyond space (lessons from the pandemic)

    9. Conclusions: Demolishing the Babel


    Daniel Medeiros de Freitas is a professor in the Urban Department at the School of Architecture and Urbanism, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). He is an author of Field of Power of the Large Scale Urban Projects (2017) and one of the editors of the book City-Estate-Capital: Urban Restructuring and Resistances in Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza and São Paulo (2018)

    Carolina Maria Soares Lima is a Geographer, master in geography, and MBA in social politics. Her research interests include urban arts, the notion of representation and public spaces in Latin America. Carolina is currently a PhD candidate in Architecture and Urbanism at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

    Krzysztof Nawratek is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Humanities and Architecture at the University of Sheffield, UK and a Visiting Professor at Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Minas Gerais, Brazil. He is the author of City as a Political Idea (2011), Holes in the Whole: Introduction to Urban Revolutions (2012), Radical Inclusivity: Architecture and Urbanism (ed. 2015), Urban Re-Industrialisation (ed. 2017), Total Urban Mobilisation: Ernst Junger and Postcapitalist City (2018) and Kuala Lumpur: Community, Infrastructure and Urban Inclusivity (co-authored with Marek Kozlowski and Asma Mehan, 2020).

    Bernardo Miranda Pataro is an International Analyst and Social Scientist, currently enrolled in the Master’s programme in Sociology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. His research interests include the relationship between religion and violence as well as religion and politics, and production of identities in modernity and international security.

    “Epistemic Ambivalence: Pentecostalism and Candomblé in a Brazilian City” offers a fascinating and nuanced account of Candomblé and Pentecostal churches in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. By exploring the parishioners’ sense of place and especially their appeals to various sources of epistemic capital, this transdisciplinary work challenges conventional theories of urban spaces and makes an intriguing contribution to larger discussions in the study of post-secularism as well as decolonial urban theory. It will necessarily be appealing to a range of scholars in urban theory and religious studies."

    -Jason Ānanda Josephson Storm, Professor of Religion, Chair of Science & Technology Studies, Williams College


    "Epistemic Ambivalence: Pentecostalism and Candomblé in a Brazilian City is a necessary disruptor to the field of Religious Studies. From its collaborative, inclusive and interdisciplinary composition to its embrace of new spacial, material and epistemic models, the authors have given us an exemplar of decolonisation and inclusivity. Not merely an account of religious diversity and change, Epistemic Ambivalence is an example of how the study of religion itself must change."

    -Dr David Robertson, The Open University


    “This book presents and demonstrates a new framework for analyzing the presence of religion in urban spaces. It questions the popular sacred-profane dialogue and inaugurates a new type of engagement based on the repertoire or epistemic capital of city dwellers in Brazil. This is a very sensitive and sympathetic approach to the study of lived experiences of the urban population. The result is a refreshing analysis that navigates epistemic ambivalences with internal understanding. It is a book that will remain popular for a long time.”

    -Olufunke Adeboye, Professor of History & Dean of Arts, University of Lagos, Nigeria