CATHOLIC AND CIVIC RITES: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S PUBLIC SPEECH IN TWO ACTS IN MEMORY OF VLADIMIR HERZOG (1975/2015)

Paula Montero Asher Brum Rafael Quintanilha About the authors

Abstract

This article analyses two different religious events held in memory of Vladimir Herzog, a journalist murdered by the Brazilian dictatorship in 1975. These ecumenical acts, celebrated in the Catholic Cathedral of São Paulo in 1975 and 2015, produced a particular sense of civic life by engaging with different audiences. The analysis of the ritual strategies mobilized in these two acts will, on the one hand, map the figures who assume public speech during the acts, and, on the other, determine their role in each instance. Our hypotheses is that the configuration of what is being mobilized as collective will and its political and / or religious sense depends on the forms through which the audience is addressed by the religious ritual. This article does not therefore deal with the role of the Catholic Church as an opposition to the military regime - a theme which has been amply addressed in the literature - but, rather, aims to locate how the rites categorize and create diverse types of political collectivities. We therefore believe that it is possible, through the comparative analysis of two circumscribed and concrete case studies, to identify certain key elements of the recent configuration of public political space in Brazilian society.

Key words:
civic rites; ecumenism; Public Space; performance

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