An unexpected fusion of two major western religious traditions, Judaism and Christianity, has been developing in many parts of the world. Contemporary Christian movements are not only adopting Jewish symbols and aesthetics but also promoting Jewish practices, rituals, and lifestyles. Becoming Jewish, Believing in Jesus is the first in-depth ethnography to investigate this growing worldwide religious tendency in the global South. Focusing on an austere Judaizing Evangelical variant in Brazil, Carpenedo explores the surprising identification with Jews and Judaism by people with exclusively Charismatic Evangelical backgrounds. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork and socio-cultural analysis, the book analyses the historical, religious, and subjective reasons behind this growing trend in Charismatic Evangelicalism. The emergence of groups that simultaneously embrace Orthodox Jewish rituals and lifestyles and preserve Charismatic Evangelical religious symbols and practices raises serious questions about what it means to be Jewish or Christian in today's religious landscape. This case study reveals how religious, ethnic, and cultural markers are being mobilized in unpredictable ways within the Charismatic Evangelical movement in much of the global South. The book also considers broader questions regarding contemporary women's attraction to gender-traditional religions. This comprehensive account of how former Charismatic Evangelicals in Brazil are gradually becoming austerely observant Jews, while continuing to believe in Jesus, represents a significant contribution to the study of religious conversion, cultural change, and debates about religious hybridization processes.
Preface Introduction Chapter 1 - Philo-Semitic Attitudes and Zionist Discourses in Christianity Chapter 2 - Religious Conversion Chapter 3 - Becomoming Jewish Believing in Jesus? Chapter 4 - Imagined Pasts, Identity, and Ethnicity in Religious Change Chapter 5 - Gender and Moral Transformation Conclusion References Notes Index
Manoela Carpenedo is Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Kent. Her interests focus on topics related to religions in the global South, the anthropology of Christianity, sociology of religion, geopolitics of faith, anthropology of moralities, and gender studies.
Reviews for Becoming Jewish, Believing in Jesus: Judaizing Evangelicals in Brazil
Manoela Carpenedo's thorough and perceptive study is ground-breaking. First, because 'Judaizing evangelicalism,' a reaction to perceived doctrinal and moral laxity in the evangelical world, may portend further religious transformations, as the huge Brazilian evangelical community fragments and produces new hybrid forms. And, second, because Christian philo-Semitism, much researched in Africa, needs studies like Carpenedo's in Latin America for understanding the interaction between monotheisms in the global South as a whole. * Paul Freston, The Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America * Growing within Brazil and beyond, Messianic Judaism is a very complex and fast-changing religious field that really needs more exploration. Manoela Carpenedo offers a rich ethnography of a fascinating case study within Messianic Judaism. Drawing on a wealth of data gathered through rigorous and in-depth participant observation, her book makes significant contributions to several important debates within the sociology and anthropology of religion--syncretism in relation to religious revival, conversion and the elaboration of religious and ethnic identities, and conservative gender roles and relations. * Veronique Altglas, Queen's University Belfast * This gracefully written and conceptualized book is the first truly classic study of a Charismatic Christian group in the process of adopting strict orthodox Jewish practices. Focused on a Brazilian congregation, and exploring in detail how women make the move from a more liberal Charismatic church to a Judaizing one that insists they follow strenuous codes of purity and modesty, this book is also a major step forward in the study of radical religious change. * Joel Robbins, University of Cambridge *