Ayahuasca, Ritual and Religion in Brazil

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2014-08-21
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Ayahuasca, Ritual and Religion in Brazil examines the emergence of religious groups in the Brazilian Amazon who constitute their systems of ritual, myth and principles around the use of a psychoactive brew known by diverse names, one of which is the Quechua term ayahuasca. Although the study of these religious movements has seen much development in recent decades there are still few publications in English, especially in the area of anthropology. This collection, containing many articles previously published only in Portuguese, explains the research conducted in Brazil. It shows a representative sample of the main types of approaches that have been used and also offers an overview of the historical development of this field of research in Brazil, especially from the perspective of the human sciences. This volume makes explicit what the study of the ayahuasca religions can contribute to classical and contemporary issues in anthropology. It presents a varied set of ethnographic approaches employed in the initial mapping of this phenomenon, establishing its historical and cultural origins. It also provides a basis to develop future work on these religions, both in their original contexts and in their expansion throughout Brazil and the world.

Author Biography

Beatriz Caiuby Labate is Member of Research Staff at the Institute of Medical Psychology, Heidelberg University, and a member of the Collaborative Research Center Ritual Dynamics - Socio-Cultural Processes from a Historical and Culturally Comparative Perspective. She is author, co-author and co-editor of six books and one journal special edition, among them A Reinveno do Uso da Ayahuasca nos Centros Urbanos (2004), Ayahuasca Religions: A Comprehensive Bibliography and Critical Essay (with Isabel de Rose and Rafael dos Santos, 2009) and Opening the Portals of Heaven: Brazilian Ayahuasca Music (with Gustavo Pacheco, 2010). Edward MacRae lectures in anthropology at the Federal University of Bahia. He is also an associate researcher at the Center for Drug Abuse Studies and Therapy (CETAD) and leader of the Group for the Study of Psychoactive Substances (GIESP). He has written books about sexuality, social movements, the ritual use of ayahuasca in the Santo Daime religion, socially integrated use of psychoactive substances, and the reduction of harm associated with drug use. Lebate and MacRae are co-founders, with other colleagues, of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vii
About the contributorsp. ix
Forwardp. xv
Brazilian Ayahuasca religions in perspectivep. 1
The use of ayahuasca among rubber tappers of the Alto Juruáp. 21
The rituals of Santo Daime: systems of symbolic constructionsp. 39
Santo Daime in the context of the new religious consciousnessp. 65
The Barquinha: symbolic space of a cosmology in the makingp. 73
Healing in the Barquinha religionp. 83
Religious matrices of the União do Vegetalp. 107
In the light of Hoasca: an approach to the religious experience of participants of the União do Vegetalp. 135
Ayahuasca: the consciousness of expansionp. 161
The development of Brazilian public policies on the religious use of Ayahuascap. 191
The treatment and handling of substance dependence with ayahuasca: reflections on current and future researchp. 205
Indexp. 229
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