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Mana

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Abstract

BIRMAN, Patricia. Witchcraft, territories and marginal resistances in Rio de Janeiro. Mana [online]. 2010, vol.5Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0104-9313.

Through their everyday references to witchcraft, allegedly emanating from Afro-Brazilian cults, Evangelical pastors denounce heinous crimes and acts of barbarity that provoke horror and terror in their listeners in church and on radio and television. I describe two allegations of witchcraft by Pentecostal groups, which connect marginality, crime and the presence of diabolical evil in two communities. Witchcraft provides an entry point to examine some of the problems faced by those living in 'communities:' the 'demonization' of peripheral territories provoked by the state's identification of their populations with criminality, on one hand, and the Evangelical battle against diabolical evil, on the other. I look to show that in the community of believers and the favela alike the Evangelicals' battle with the devil is a response to the State's interpellations associated with its modalities of identifying peripheral spaces. In the process, I analyze the meaning assumed by witchcraft within the wider Evangelical project of salvation and the social future it aims to build.

Keywords : Witchcraft; Pentecostalism; Territories; Favelas; Communities.

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