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"Prosperity" in the 1990s: ethnography of the work commitment between worshippers and God in the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God

In the 1990s, when Brazil was experiencing "trade opening", terms that were already dear to "neo-liberal" ideals such as "competitiveness", "entrepreneurship", and "success" slowly seeped into Brazilian society’s imagination. Meanwhile, there was a sharp rise in membership in the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, which defends the "Theology of Prosperity". In this article I examine information gathered through an ethnographic survey of worshippers at a UCKG congregation in Rio de Janeiro in order to expand the understanding of the aspirations, dispositions, and experiences of these lower-income social actors who chose to embrace this religious faith in the 1990s.

autonomy; market; God; work


Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos (IESP) da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) R. da Matriz, 82, Botafogo, 22260-100 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel. (55 21) 2266-8300, Fax: (55 21) 2266-8345 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: dados@iesp.uerj.br