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Journal of Human Growth and Development

Print version ISSN 0104-1282On-line version ISSN 2175-3598


COSTA, Lívia Fialho  and  JACQUET, Christine. Emotion and corporal experience in the trajectory of conversion: a case study. Rev. bras. crescimento desenvolv. hum. [online]. 2006, vol.16, n.3, pp. 83-91. ISSN 0104-1282.

This article discusses the relationship that exists between illness, emotions, and the body in narratives concerning religious cures. The point of departure are concrete cases of women who have converted to neo-Pentecostalism and who relate how they discovered an alternative to dealing with their afflictions and suffering through religious rites and rituals. Their stories of conversion revolve around lives characterized by loss of self-esteem, and their subsequent conversions took place during moments of crisis or as a result of extraordinary events that interrupted the normal course of their lives. The converted women are almost unanimous in affirming that their conversions came about as the result of a search for the cure for an illness. However, the illness they refer to is a generic view beneath which lies evidence that shifts the listeners' attention to the efficient nature of the religious rituals. Thus, their initial motivation in seeking for conversion was not related solely to their illnesses, but to a prior series of problem situations that went beyond the actual physical ailments in themselves. Inspired by an anthropology of emotions, this text aims to analyze how religious conversion helped these women to better face their personal and family conflicts, creating a self-awareness that helped them to reemerge from the depths of their despair.

Keywords : Body; Emotions; Religion; Gender; Family.

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