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ESPIRITISMO E VIDA. Bezerra de Meneses, mensagem psicofônica de Divaldo P. Franco (Mensagem psicofônica obtida pelo médium Divaldo Pereira Franco. Objetivo: apresentar uma breve história do Espiritismo, a visão da epilepsia pelo Espiritismo e o potencial dos cuidados de espiritualidade e religiosidade como. E-Book PDF (English). The Mediums' Book – Allan Kardec A discussion of the Other e-books are available at these websites: Federacao Espirita Brasileira.

Nevertheless, it was this kind of Christianity that became popular in most parts of the island. And when Spiritism spread throughout the island, it easily integrated aspects of Spanish popular Catholicism in its belief system. Spiritism filled the gap created by the Catholic Church by its ignorance of the rural religious practices. While the priests still supported the Spanish government and preached in favour of the central political power, most of the population practiced popular Catholicism with combination of Spiritism.

But because the Catholic Church officially condemned Spiritism as non-Christian people did not confess their practice. Whether it can be revived as a living influence is highly problematic.

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He vehemently fought for the independence of Puerto Rico and even founded a political party. He integrated spiritistic ideas into the national political arena Koss When the ban of Spiritism was officially lifted by the U. Government, it reached its peak in popularity.

However, not all centres joined the association because of disagreement over the character of Spiritism, whether it should be treated as religion, philosophy or what ever Hess During this short time period Spiritism has shown for the first time its relevance for the creation of identity. Another reason that led to the decline was connected to the religious freedom after the US-occupation because it allowed aggressive missionary activities.

In distinction to the Catholic Church during the colonial time the protestant missionaries focussed in particular on the rural parts of the island where they fought against all kinds of popular beliefs, and most vehemently against the belief in spirits.

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Hence, their fight against the belief in spirits was more successful than the fight of the Catholic Church. After a while the Catholic Church returned to the island and increased their campaign against Spiritism. Still in Catholics were not allowed to participate in any spiritistic reunions, spiritists were even denied to be called Catholic see e.

Nevertheless, the practice of popular Spiritism survived in spite of the pressure of the various Christian churches. Hess calculates that in around A research about popular belief practices conducted between and came to the result that in every village and town it was possible to download spiritistic goods Garrido The aim of this organization is mainly Pan-American networking through, for instance, international congresses.

The members of the federation on the other side started a revival of their organization for instance, by opening a Casa de Alma and publishing a small bulletin.

Both organizations work hand in hand in national issues though the confederation dominates international events. Nevertheless, the most important way still is the espiritismo popular despite the strong effort of the Protestant churches to condemn Spiritism. Nevertheless, it is impossible even to estimate the number of people practicing Spiritism.

Most centres do not announce their practice, and most praticioners do not openly speak about their belief and practice. As mentioned above one should avoid regarding them as a homogenous entity as, for instance, Elschenbroisch does.

In distinction to this approach I will follow Nelson and Tienda who use the term Nuyorican as a representation of the separation from Puerto Rico as well as the ongoing ties From the very beginning of the migration period, New York has harboured the largest Puerto Rican community on the mainland. The presence of the Puerto Ricans in New York began in the nineteenth century. However, the first significant increase began after the US-occupation of Puerto Rico in The radical social, political and economic change after the occupation led to the immigration of more and more Puerto Ricans to the U.

The citizenship facilitated the movement between Puerto Rico and the U. In , nearly every state of the U. The number again increased after the World War II. New York was and still is the non-official capital of Puerto Ricans, economical more important than the capital of the island, San Juan de Puerto Rico.

Today, half of the nearly 1. Due to the fact that they can return to the island as often as they wish, the situation of Puerto Ricans in the United States is very unique.

However, though there is still an ongoing migration from the island to New York, the number of Puerto Ricans born in New York has increased significantly in the last decades. From an outside perspective the book La Vida by Oscar Lewis represents some of the stereotypes people have towards Nuyoricans: They speak only Spanish, they live in a ghetto, they do not want to intermingle with other migrant groups, and they do not like the place they live.

The reality, however, is totally different. Puerto Ricans represent the largest ethnic minority in New York and also a group that can use its right to vote unlike other immigrants in order to fight for political issues.

Step by step Nuyoricans have become an economic power and occupy more and more white-collar-jobs though the number of households below www. Nevertheless, identity is still a problematic issue as Juan Flores illustrates. Flores describes and analyzes the development of Nuyorican cultural consciousness by focusing on four moments, which do not necessarily follow in chronological order, but demonstrate a possible evolution Flores Flores calls the first stage 'here-and-now': On arrival, Puerto Ricans are confronted with the hostility of their environment in everyday reality, feeling rejected and abandoned.

As a reaction they begin to romanticize Puerto Rico in the second stage. In this state of 'enchantment' - according to Flores - they rediscover the African and indigenous foundations of Puerto Rican culture my isla heritage as symbols of the only free, non-colonial phases in the island's history. This leads to an increased awareness of the political oppression in the United States. By emphasizing their Puerto Rican background, they seem to get 'from the ghetto to the garden'.


The third moment can be described as 're-entry': The newly-created cultural consciousness, in connection with bilingualism, leads to the proud identification with Afro-Caribbean cultural traditions. In contrast to the construed images of the island, they develop a sense of nationality in regard to the island.

In the final stage, a 'branching-out' takes place. Puerto Ricans begin to interact with selected groups within American society, first with those in closest proximity African Americans, or other Caribbean and Latin American migrants such as Cubans , then with others sharing a similar social disadvantage, sometimes connected with a kind of shared working-class reality.

Flores's analysis must not be mistaken as a reconstruction of the 'melting-pot' concept, since the branching-out moment signifies only co-operation and not assimilation as implied in the formal 'melting-pot' concept. Flores focuses on the cultural consciousness of the Nuyoricans without investigating the formation of an ethnic group ethnicity or the loss of ethnic boundaries assimilation.

While cultural identity describes the general attitude of an ethnic community, ethnicity means the process of constructing ethnic boundaries according to the 'new ethnicity' paradigm based on Barth. The phase in which the consciousness of cultural difference begins to create strong definitions of 'you' and 'I', or 'my group' and 'the other group' - Flores' third moment - is floating and cannot be pinned down exactly.

To be Puerto www. In this situation religious beliefs held in common can create a community where the members are proud to be special, to be Puerto Rican. Here is where Spiritism became important.

Tested by the crises of modern society in the most complex contemporary metropolitan area as well as by harsh deprivations imposed by a far-from- voluntary migration, the Puerto Rican migrants' faith in themselves and in their basic religious beliefs have survived with remarkable vitality.

As part of their legacy, the Puerto Rican people in migration offer a new spirituality and religious mode. This aspect leads to a new perspective in the investigation of the connection between religion and identity.

During the s when scholars began to notice religion in the context of migration, attachment to a religion was usually viewed as a social phenomenon.

Especially migrants of the third generation were considered to identify themselves with the religion of their country of origin in order to keep up the relationship with their native place and to develop new ties to their new home. Will Herberg, for instance, stated that a true integration into the American Way of Life could only be accomplished with the help of religion One generation later, the ethnic revival became a kind of 'religious substitute' Elschenbroich In this period, Hans Mol considered religion as 'sacralization of identity': These studies have investigated the identity of already existing ethnic groups and neglected the process of identity formation.

Yet, as Elschenbroich states 'ethnic identity implies Americanization, ethnic identification is something American' Ethnic groups do not originate from the migration of whole tribal groups but according to Barth from the complex relationship between the integration of individuals based on a selection of cultural factors and the alienation toward other groups. Spiritism constitutes one element among others in the creation of a common base for identification as well as of establishing borders toward other groups.

Thus, Puerto Ricans can be compared to Italians in www. Like in Puerto Rico, identity in Italy was based on the town or the region of origin and not on the nation. Under pressure from the social environment, the migrants had to develop new ways to define themselves. In this process the Catholic Church helped Italian in representing their demands. Consequently, the institution supported Italians to create a new ethnic organisation for Italian Australians.

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Puerto Ricans, on the other hand, had to revitalize other religious traditions, alien to their surrounding but familiar in a Latin American context. As Harwood writes, 'because of the widespread belief in spirits among Puerto Ricans, furthermore, Spiritism [ Even Dan Wakefield cites a short passage from a conversation between a business man and a Nuyorican to illustrate the importance and uniqueness of the belief in spirits in New York As explained above, the belief in spirits is common among Puerto Ricans, but often denied in front of outsiders.

Tarot , books about Spiritism and other belief systems e. This observation led Lewis to the statement that Spiritism has become commercialized in New York In Puerto Rico it is a religion. Most always, among those coming for consultas, or consultations, the medium finds that they are in the process of desarrollando facultades, developing spiritual faculties.

After a while, the medium's apartment is too small to accommodate all those who come for 'spiritual help'. So, the time has come for the medium to suggest to those who are 'developing spiritual faculties' that a formal centro must be established. They form a board, with the medium as president, and secure legal services for a certificate of incorporation. As soon as they are chartered by the state of New York, they begin their business as any other religious group.

Their members belong usually to the same neighbourhood and meet two or three times a week often twice during the week in the evening and once on Sunday. The central aspects are the commitment to the group and the development of one's strength. A year-old Puerto Rican female born in New York City could not hold any job very long because she was afraid to travel alone in the subway or bus.

Her parents practiced Spiritism, but she stopped attending sessions when she moved to an apartment of her own. After a very heavy attack of fear she agreed to a divination. She went to a healer asking to read her destiny in cards. And she was told that an undeveloped spirit 'wanted to block her from bettering herself'. The healer recommended different treatments, included herbal baths, prayers, and candles dedicated to her guardian spirit.

Doing as she www. While he analyses the case in a psychoanalytical manner, a spiritist would say that the woman should develop her faculties to become a medium, not only in order to help herself but also in order to help other people. One has to commit one's own ability in favour of other people; one has to work for them because these faculties are God's gifts. This non-commercial way of Spiritism is at the heart of every spiritistic centre. As Harwood comments: Thus, Spiritism represents much more than a cultural-bounded therapy as several medical studies have indicated.

Though Kardec's teaching is popular in various parts of Latin America and has been developed, for instance, in Brazil to a largely important movement, only among Puerto Ricans has the common belief become powerful enough to define boundaries toward other groups. The reason is connected to the different importance Spiritism have had during Puerto Ricans history. Spiritism in Brazil has probably more practitioner as in Puerto Rico.

Some scholars write that the belief in the existence of spiritual beings is common to all Brazilians. However, this belief has various different expressions in Brazil, not all are connected to Spiritism; some are based on African traditions, some on Christian. Even Brazilian Pentecostalism does not deny the existence of spiritual beings but categorizes them as coming from the devil and, hence, tries to exorcise them.

Nevertheless, the belief does not create boundaries between one and the Other. It lacks the identification as social movement and, hence, has not yet created identity. Spiritism is practiced today in Brazil in various variations such as Kardecism, www. Hence, one cannot call Umbanda a spiritistic belief system beside its large spiritistic influences. And even if one compares the relevance of Umbanda concerning the creation of identity with the one of Spiritism in Puerto Rico, one notes important differences.

Umbanda is indeed the most important popular religion in Brazil - and is sometimes called the national religion in opposition to the imported ones as Christianity Ortiz However, it never influences the self-identification of being Brazilian.

One reason is that the practice of Umbanda is often limited in the literature towards poor Brazilians though it was also described for the middle class. Another reason is that Umbanda is a predominantly urban practice and had never inspired rural life. What makes Puerto Rican Spiritism unique is therefore its significance as a social movement in the nineteenth century, its relevance during the independence movement at the end of the nineteenth century, the easy way Spiritism was integrated in popular Catholicism and its integration in Puerto Rican culture.

Brazil on the other hand has always been much more divers. Though Spiritism remains important in Brazil, it never influenced its large population as it did on the small island of Puerto Rico. Nevertheless, not all Puerto Ricans share this belief, and not all practice Spiritism though nearly all Puerto Ricans will know someone who does. Another important issue is that Spiritism - even in Puerto Rico - does not count as a religion.

Though I treat it as a popular religious belief system, nearly all practitioners will reject the notion that Spiritism is their religion. Spiritism is a daily practice for spiritists, not something one does only on Sundays. Hence, spiritists can have various official religions; they can be Catholic or belong to the various Protestant denominations or even to a Pentecostal Church - and practice Spiritism.

The official data about the religious commitment of Puerto Ricans in New York City tells us therefore little about their popular religious belief. Nevertheless some developments are important for the understanding of the religious practice.

Levitt, for instance, writes about Latinos in the US in www. In New York City I got the impression that the Catholic Church finally reacted to this development and started to make concessions to the large presence of Latinos.

Though the Spanish service is often still limited to the basement, there is now a Spanish service in all areas with predominately Spanish speaking populations.

After decades of ignorance the Catholic Church in New York learnt to accept the great amount of Latinos living in their city without any clerical support. In the s Fitzpatrick wrote, for instance, that 'Hispanics still cling to the basic beliefs of the Catholic Church, but do not practice as Americans do.

Regular attendance at mass and sacraments is not the sign of a 'good catholic' as it is among Americans. Folk practices are still strong and important even among youth.

More important and effective, however, is the organization of religious festivals, processions in honor of national or local saints see e.

John Brogan, the director of the Hispanic Ministry Office during my research time in New York City, told me that they now 'have various national festivals [ And for themselves, it is rather important to share with others what they are. Latinos represent today the majority of Catholics in the US but only the minority of leaders Levitt Both authors even note a Latino religious resurgence whose function they describe with following words: In distinction to former developments the Latino resurgence succeeded after in creating a sense of community among Latino Catholics despite all national differences In their own words: Found within almost every U.

Despite this quite positive interpretation of Latino Catholicism we should not ignore the increase of Protestantism among Latinos as well as the large switch to the Pentecostal movement. During the time of my research they already owned three buildings in different boroughs offering daily services in Spanish, sometimes three times a day, and broadcasting on Sundays in the Spanish Cable TV channel. In Brooklyn they bought an old theatre building, in Queens they built a new and quite impressive one, and every time I went to a service it was full with people.

I suspect that this Pentecostal movement will increase significantly among Latinos in the next years. With their very emotional offer to help in problematic situations they attract every week new believers. However, we always have to acknowledge that popular religious practices constitute, as also Levitt insists, 'the core of Latino religious life and … are often engaged in outside the formal church' The following statement of Don Justo, leader of a Spiritistic group in New York, shall illustrate once more how Spiritism forms an www.

Yes, I know that you think that spiritism is an invention of peoples' minds. And I also know that sometimes you are unable to explain many things that you see.

You even believe that what I have done is not going to affect the landlord. After all, the landlord might be a non-believer. To you spiritism works only if the person is a believer. Well, to us, the believers, spiritism is real. Everyone in the building knows what I have done tonight. Yes, as a matter of fact they asked me to do it. They all believe in what I have done. You see, to us, the landlord is going to be affected by the spell because the spirits of light are on our side.

We are building a unity which is hard for a non-believer to understand. During and after several meetings they discuss their problems, for instance the lack of heating, caused by the landlord who ignored his traditional duty. Finally they decided to clean the building spiritually and cast a spell on the owner 'to throw his spiritual faculties or guardian spirits off balance'.

Afterwards they organize a rally against the now 'unprotected, off-balanced landlord' Hence, the common belief has prepared the ground for a common activity, namely, the creation of a tenants' association; as such, they then became aware of their 'interests as an ethnic group' and as a class, as Figueroa states Here, we can see once again that Spiritism has indeed notions of a social movement that can create identity. Though ill organized the group offered a common level of identification that empowered its members to fight for justice.

And at the end the landlord agreed to their demands. Spiritism is more than just a belief system. A community of Spiritists can create the base of identity, even construes a border between them and the Others, hence ethnicity though this development is of course not always successful. Figueroa, who did not believe in Spiritism, doubted the outcome, hence the power of Spiritism. He learnt to accept the power of common force which he connected in a Marxist approach to class-struggle.

Hence, he demonstrates that despite acknowledging the outcome he was indeed the outsider in this fight, the Other across the borderline. His denial stresses an important aspect: Identity is nothing fixed or static; it changes in every situation according to the goals someone wants to win.

Religion can serve as cornerstone in this process.

Mitos y realidades del espiritismo, segundo seminaria espiritista , ed. Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference, ed. Universites Forlaget, Du, ich und die anderen.

Empfangen von Dr. Ripi, by Allan Kardec. Otto Reichl Verlag, Contrasts in the Sacred and the Profane. Portrait of a Society: The Dead Sell Memories. Indiana Univ. Press NJ. Destiny Books. Ensayos en Torno a Pedro Albizu Campos, ed.

San Juan de Puerto Rico: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Implications for Clinicians, in: Critical Concepts in Social Work, ed. Jacobs and D. Silver Spring, MD: National Association of Social Workers, A Sociohistorical Overview, in: Latinos in New York: Communities in Transition, ed.

Haslip-Viera and S. Stevens-Arroyo , Recognizing the Latino resurgence in U. The Emmaus paradigma. Westview Press. An International Periodical of Ethnic Studies 6. Keywords: ethnography of reading, literacy, oral communication, spiritualism. Thompson apud Smith, , p. Um colega lia a passagem selecionada e o coordenador inquiria se ele, ou outra pessoa desejava comentar o trecho.

Elvira, outra ativa participante do grupo, interveio dizendo que "a gente vem para ser testado. Assim, na semana seguinte, a leitura deveria iniciar exatamente do ponto onde se havia parado na semana anterior. Outros, mais liberais, encaravam-na como meta a ser progressivamente atingida apesar dos pequenos defeitos e retrocessos. Um jovem casal, com pouco tempo de grupo tendia a monopolizar a palavra, polarizando em todos os debates. Se o estudo estava em pauta, deveria haver frases que falassem disso na prece, ainda que sem um texto predeterminado.

Seguindo esse esquema, o palestrante teria a capacidade de discorrer por horas a fio a partir de trechos de livros escolhidos ao acaso. Coisas ditas. Jonathan Org. The ethnography of reading. Berkeley: University of California Press, He integrated spiritistic ideas into the national political arena Koss The main aim of Kardecism is therefore individualistic.

Still in Catholics were not allowed to participate in any spiritistic reunions, spiritists were even denied to be called Catholic see e. The Meaning of Migration to the Mainland. Communities in Transition, ed. By Raquel Romberg.

Unlike kardecism, the pantheon of espiritismo popular includes Catholic saints and African orishas which are often regarded as guardian angels.