Information excracted from here.

Author: Schmidt, Titti Kristina
Title: Morality as Practice: The Santo Daime, an Eco-Religious
Movement in the Amazonian Rainforest
Department: Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga
vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural
Anthropology and Ethnology
URI: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8159
Publication type: Doctoral thesis
Language: English [en]
Keywords: Brazil, Amazonia, Santo Daime, caboclos, environmentalism,
religion, religious movements, social movements, morality
Defence: 2007-09-24, Geijersalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsv. 3H,
Uppsala, 10:15, English
Opponent: Lambek, Michael, Professor, Department of Anthropology,
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Abstract [en] :

This study deals with Santo Daime, a religious and environmental
movement in the Brazilian Amazon. It is based on 15 months of
anthropological fieldwork in the foundational centre of the Santo
Daime movement, Céu do Mapiá, Heaven of Mapiá, located deep inside the
Brazilian State of Amazonas. In Céu do Mapiá most followers of the
movement are Brazilian peasants and workers collectively known as
caboclos. Progressively the movement has also attracted urban
middle-class followers, both Brazilians and foreigners. The main
reason for people coming to Céu do Mapiá to join the movement is the
daime, a psychoactive brew (generally known as ayahuasca) used by the
members during their rituals. The members claim that the daime is able
to cure various kinds of diseases, including fatal diseases like AIDS
and cancer. They also claim that it enhances the members’ desire to
protect nature. During the last twenty years, the movement has been
expanding significantly and new Santo Daime centres have been set up
in Latin America as well as in Europe, the United States and Japan. A
concomitant of this process of globalisation is a steadily
intensifying focus on environmental issues. The establishment of a
National Park around Céu do Mapiá has facilitated the active
engagement by the members in a variety of ecological projects.

Besides describing and analysing the growth of the Santo Daime
movement in accordance to theories concerned with the growth of new
social and religious movements in Latin America, the movement is also
described and analysed in terms of moral practice. For members of the
movement their moral practice is dictated by the daime (and the spirit
residing within this psychoactive brew), which is seen as the sole
agent of the contemporary expansion, an interpretation which
implicitly rejects more conventional theories concerned with the
growth of new social and religious movements. In order to understand
and do justice to the specific Santo Daime rationale, i.e. that agency
is vested solely in the daime, the author suggests that we need an
alternative way to conceptualise action, one which is non-instrumental
and non goal-oriented.

Publisher: Uppsala: Uppsala University, Interfaculty Units, Acta
Universitatis Upsaliensis
Distributor: Uppsala University, University Library, Box 510, 75120 Uppsala
Year: 2007
Available: 2007-09-03
Pages: 283
Series: Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology, ISSN 0348-5099 ; 41
ISBN: 978-91-554-6939-9

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