By M. Mayblin
Throughout the ethnography of a Catholic neighborhood in Northeast Brazil, Maya Mayblin bargains a shiny and provocative reconsider of gendered portrayals of Catholic existence. For the citizens of Santa Lucia, lifestyles is conceptualized as a chain of ethical tradeoffs among the sinful and efficient international opposed to an idealized kingdom of innocence, conceived with regards to neighborhood Catholic teachings. As marriage marks the start of a efficient existence on this planet, it additionally marks a part during which ethical personhood comes such a lot actively - and poignantly - to the fore. This publication bargains lucid observations on how women and men as husbands and better halves, fathers and moms, negotiate this problem. in addition to making a massive contribution to the ethnographic literature on morality, Christianity, and Latin the United States, the ebook bargains a compelling substitute to acquired portrayals of gender polarity as symbolically all-encompassing, during the Catholic global.
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Extra info for Gender, Catholicism, and Morality in Brazil: Virtuous Husbands, Powerful Wives
In using the term marriage, however, I do so in a sense that includes couples who have set up house together without an actual wedding taking place. In the region where Santa Lucia is based, this type of arrangement is common, particularly among poorer households. Established cohabiting couples with children are generally given “married” status and may refer to one another as meu marido (my husband) or minha espousa (my wife). It is often only in passing or by accident that one learns that an official wedding or ceremony never took place.
Most people were friendly, several were known locally as conversadores (conversationalists) and seemed only too happy to regale me with stories and anecdotes. As a resident anthropologist it was often frustrating that the best data would occur whenever I least expected it—during casual encounters, and at moments when it would have been impossible to make notes. At certain points I conceded to these trends, abandoning the illusion that my research would follow any predevised and coherent order I had set for it.
Due to their direct ties with Rome, the Jesuit missionaries were eventually expelled by the Portuguese Crown from both Brazil and Portugal in 1759. The Brazilian clergy remained weak throughout the rest of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the colonial church serving more as an arm of the civil bureaucracy. Throughout the period between 1500 and 1822, only a handful of clerics served the interior, and most communities had little or no contact with the official Catholic Church. 7 A brief perusal of the historical literature on the Brazilian 24 G E N D E R , C AT H O L I C I S M , A N D M O R A L I T Y I N B R A Z I L Northeastern interior leaves one with a picture of a wild frontier land dominated by drought and violence, banditry, and mysticism.