Print version ISSN 0103-4014
LEHMANN, David. Esperança e religião. Estud. av. [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.75, pp. 219-236. ISSN 0103-4014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-40142012000200015.
This article develops three models of humans' relationship with the supernatural. First that of ritual as a kind of protection through which the individual ensures that whatever had to be done to avoid a danger was done. The detailed nature of the ritual procedures are essential to it as is the social network which is woven around the rite. Secondly, the article focuses on the exchange relationship with the supernatural, mediated by a shaman who holds the secrets of the procedure and also the trust of his "clients". Thirdly, it deals with the exchange relationships represented by Catholic popular religion and explains that all world religions' (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are built on the basis of a dialectic of the erudite and the popular. This exposition acts as an introduction to the analysis of Pentecostalism and neo-Pentecostalism, which represent unprecedented forms of religiosity in which the supernatural is present. But here the exchange is with the church itself and not with supernatural entities. The church operates more as a "Spiritual First Aid Centre" than as the foundation of a moral order or the place where human beings can make their peace with God. Pentecostalism is part of a tendency throughout the Western world which has left inclusive religions (like Catholicism and Anglicanism) stagnating, while the more exclusionary, those which demand substantial sacrifice of their followers, are gaining ground.
Keywords : Ritual; Pentecostalism; Popular religion.