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MALUF, Sônia Weidner. Mitos coletivos, narrativas pessoais: cura ritual, trabalho terapêutico e emergência do sujeito nas culturas da "Nova Era". Mana [online]. 2005, vol.11, n.2, pp.499-528. ISSN 0104-9313.

Over the last few years, urban Brazil has seen the merging of new forms of spirituality with alternative therapeutic practices. Different labels have been used to define these experiences. Many anthropological and sociological publications, however, have already classified the phenomenon under the general rubric of New Age cultures. This text aims to reconsider this type of work - and the accompanying spiritual practices - from the therapeutic point of view, as well as examining the procedures used to alleviate and cure illnesses or symptoms. Issues such as the notion of work, ritual space and behaviours, ritual time and therapeutic time, the therapeutic relationship, narrative performances, symbolic mediators, the relation between collective myths and personal narratives are discussed and related to the central meanings of this type of work. The text concludes that each process of treatment involves substituting the object of the cure with the individual as a whole. One of the key meanings to emerge in the present work is the empowermnent of the individual and the emergence of the subject.

Keywords : New Religiosities; Alternative Therapies; Narratives; Subjectivity; 'New Age' Cultures.

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