Max Weber's Sociology of Religion and Its Limits: An Analysis of Brazilian Neo-Pentecostal Asceticism

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Fernanda RAPOSO, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil
According to Weber (1974) Sociology of Religion is a sociology of rationality, as it was responsible for the passage of a magical vision of the world to a defeat of magic through its disenchantment. His sociology of religion seeks to understand modern man with the help of ideas of life orientation, disenchantment and ethics. The aim of this article is to understand the Brazilian Neopentecostal movement taking into account the category of asceticism and rejection of the world, taking into account Max Weber's writings on religions and asceticism. Therefore, this paper aims to discuss Weber's Sociology of Religions and the Neopentecostal turn, especially regarding the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD) and its tendency to affirm the world.

In this way, I intend to elaborate an analysis that, although simple and synthetic, seeks to raise this discussion and propose new dialogues. To reach this, my first step is to briefly describe Max Weber's theory of religion, especially in his writings on Religious Rejections of the World and Their Directions, The Social Psychology of World Religions, and finally The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and how the intellectual defines the concept of asceticism, the hallmark of the Protestant Christian religion. In a second moment, I will explain the genesis of Pentecostalism, in order to present, in a more historical way, its unfoldings. And, in a third moment, I will return to understand the birth of Neopentecostalism, issue that interests me in this work. Finally, I will try to discuss how the concepts discussed by Weber are perceived by modern Neopentecostal sects, anchoring especially in the case of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD).