The Embodiment of the Youth in the Charismatic Catholic Movement

Thursday, 14 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 21 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Leticia R.T. SILVA, University of Brasilia, Brazil
Dulce FILGUEIRA DE ALMEIDA, University of Brasilia, Brazil, University of Maryland, USA
This study aims at understanding the meaning of the experience of embodiment of the youth in the charismatic catholic movement, considering dance as a bodily practice that facilitates processes of social interaction and relationships with the sacred. It relies on field research of ethnographic inspiration, using the dense description of facts proposed by Geertz (1989). The data survey procedures were observation (registered in a field journal) and semi-standardized interviews. We chose the Agape Group of the Sacred Family Parish, in Vila Canaã, in the city of Goiânia - GO, Brazil, as it fit the criteria defined for the research goal. Results indicate that the meaning of embodiment for the youth in the group evince bodily practices of diverse natures and aim at the search for the sacred. Among the identified bodily practices, namely: meditative resting, glossolalia, freestyle dancing and choreographed dancing, dancing had a prominent role in the Agape activities. The relevance of dancing stems from two factors: (i) for expressing a bodily manifestation that fosters social interaction among the participants and (ii) for the clear relationship between sacred and profane in dancing. In this case, the efficacy and tradition present on the bodily practice are invested with body technique, with the aim of achieving transcendence, the mythical experience – from the perspective of the sacred, as well as an escape from daily life and embrace of socialization, joy and affection – connected to the profane aspects of the bodily practice. The conclusion is that embodiment on charismatic dance establishes social interaction in the search for the sacred.