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Contemporary Anthropology of Religion

Gender, Catholicism, and Morality in Brazil

Virtuous Husbands, Powerful Wives

Authors: Mayblin, M.

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About this book

Through the ethnography of a Catholic community in Northeast Brazil, Maya Mayblin offers a vivid and provocative rethink of gendered portrayals of Catholic life. For the residents of Santa Lucia, life is conceptualized as a series of moral tradeoffs between the sinful and productive world against an idealized state of innocence, conceived with reference to local Catholic teachings. As marriage marks the beginning of a productive life in the world, it also marks a phase in which moral personhood comes most actively - and poignantly - to the fore. This book offers lucid observations on how men and women as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, negotiate this challenge. As well as making an important contribution to the ethnographic literature on morality, Christianity, and Latin America, the book offers a compelling alternative to received portrayals of gender polarity as symbolically all-encompassing, throughout the Catholic world.

About the authors

MAYA MAYBLIN is Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Reviews

"[A] rich account of married life among Catholics in a village community in Northeast Brazil . . . Anthropologists working with Catholicism, Latin America, and/or morality, in my opinion, cannot and would not want to bypass this book. Those interested in Christianity and gender more broadly should find it very enriching. Since it presents a number of complex analytical points in a very accessible writing style, it could also benefit students at all levels. Altogether, this is a very welcome contribution that does not limit itself to a narrow focus on religion, but through its broad ethnography reminds us that an anthropology of Christianity needs to take into account the many ways in which religiosity is enmeshed in, or even indistinguishable from, morality, gender, and human existence." - AnthroCyBib

"This theoretically sophisticated book is at the leading edge of a number of currently important anthropological discussions. It is, for example, one of the first and most finely argued studies of the role of morality in social life that we have. It is also one of the first studies of Catholicism to unfold in dialogue with contemporary work in the anthropology of Christianity, moving beyond former preoccupations with syncretism and folk religiosity to give us fully-realized portrait of Catholicism as lived religion. But even as one needs to read this book for the fresh, challenging ideas that are there on almost every page, its also true that Mayblin supports her claims with the kind rounded, pitch-perfect ethnography that makes one remember why one ever thought anthropology was a good way to address major human issues in the first place. This is a book people will be reading for a long time to come." - Joel Robbins, Professor and Chair of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego

"The village of Santa Lucia, tucked away in the northeast of Brazil, is brought to life in this wonderful ethnography. Mayblin's prose is pointed and poignant, and draws the reader in not only to the village but some of the most important theoretical discussions at the intersection between kinship and religion: on morality, on perfection and imperfection, and on how men and women relate. This book will appeal to a wide audience, and garner great respect." - Matthew Engelke, author of A Problem of Presence: Beyond Scripture in an African Church


Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-10623-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $110.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-230-62312-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Gender, Catholicism, and Morality in Brazil
Book Subtitle
Virtuous Husbands, Powerful Wives
Authors
Series Title
Contemporary Anthropology of Religion
Copyright
2010
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-10623-9
DOI
10.1057/9780230106239
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-62312-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 212
Topics