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Moral Topology and the Making of Cosmological Boundaries

The Case of Neo-Pentecostal Exorcism in Brazil

Matan Shapiro

Seeking to uproot evil from people’s life, neo-Pentecostal exorcists in Brazil separate between internal and external bodily surfaces and then ‘close’ the victim’s entire body to protect against further malignant intrusion. Based on fieldwork in Brazil and the analysis of expulsion videos online, I demonstrate that exorcists self-consciously use topological imaginaries of connectedness and disjunction to generate a reality in which demons and humans occupy mutually exclusive ontological domains. I argue that the moral transformation that these rituals encourage is thus contingent on the successful disentanglement of bodily surfaces, which distinguishes inside from outside and humans from demons. I use the term ‘moral topology’ to analyze this process and call for further cross-cultural attention to the ethnographic vitality of topological imaginaries in the making of cosmological boundaries.

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Intimate Events

The Correctness of Affective Transactions in Northeast Brazil

Matan Shapiro

Drawing on ethnographic research in the Brazilian state of Maranhão, this article proposes the concept of the 'intimate event' as a heuristic device in the cross-cultural study of kinship and relatedness. This theoretical construct refers to the retrospective recognition of affective transactions as meaningfully intimate, that recognition being an event which in Maranhão compels ethical reflection. Intimacy can be imagined as an aesthetic of practice that indicates when something simply feels right, and which then frames the correctness of both moral conformity and transgression in affective terms.

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Ayse Serap Avanoglu, Diana Riboli, Juan Javier Rivera Andía, Annalisa Butticci, Iain R. Edgar, Matan Shapiro, Brooke Schedneck, Mark Sedgwick, Suzane de Alencar Vieira, Nell Haynes, Sara Farhan, Fabián Bravo Vega, Marie Meudec, Nuno Domingos, Heidi Härkönen, Sergio González Varela and Nathanael Homewood

Adonis, Sufism and Surrealism, 243 pp., notes, index. London: Saqi Books, 2016. Paperback, $13.56. ISBN 9780863565571.

Bacigalupo, Ana Mariella, Thunder Shaman: Making History with Mapuche Spirits in Chile and Patagonia, 304 pages, notes, bibliography, index. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016. Paperback, $29.95. ISBN 9781477308981.

Bessire, Lucas, Behold the Black Caiman: A Chronicle of Ayoreo Life, 310 pp., halftones, notes, bibliography, index. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014. Paperback, $27.50. ISBN 9780226175577.

Blanton, Anderson, Hittin’ the Prayer Bones: Materialities of Spirit in the Pentecostal South, 236 pp., notes, bibliography, index. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015. Paperback, $27.95. ISBN 9781469623979.

Bulkeley, Kelly, Big Dreams: The Science of Dreaming and the Origins of Religion, 352 pp., tables, notes, bibliography, index. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Hardback, $23.96. ISBN 9780199351534.

Butticci, Annalisa, African Pentecostals in Catholic Europe: The Politics of Presence in the Twenty- First Century, 208 pp., halftones, notes, index. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. Hardback, $39.95. IS BN 9780674737099.

Cassaniti, Julia, Living Buddhism: Mind, Self, and Emotion in a Thai Community, 232 pp., illustrations, tables, glossary, references, index. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015. Paperback, $22.95. ISBN 9780801456718.

Edgar, Iain R., The Dream in Islam: From Qur’anic Tradition to Jihadist Inspiration, 178 pp., tables, bibliography, index. New York: Berghahn Books, 2016. Paperback, $25.55. ISBN 9781785332227.

Favret-Saa da, Jeanne, The Anti-Witch, 232 pp., halftones, references, index. Chicago: HAU Books/University of Chicago Press, 2015. Paperback, $17.99. ISBN 9780990505044.

Frederick, Marla F., Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global, 256 pp., notes, bibliography, index. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2016. Paperback, $25. ISBN 9780804796989.

Gadelrab, Sherry Sayed, Medicine and Morality in Egypt: Gender and Sexuality in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, 204 pp., notes, bibliography. London: I.B. Tauris, 2016. Hardback, $99. IS BN 9781780767512.

Lindhardt, Martin, ed., New Ways of Being Pentecostal in Latin America, 284 pp., afterword, index. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016. Hardback, $90. IS BN 9780739196557.

Pat on, Diana, The Cultural Politics of Obeah: Religion, Colonialism and Modernity in the Caribbean World, 375 pp., figures, tables, bibliography, index. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Hardback, $70. ISBN 9781107025653.

Pérez, Elizabeth, Religion in the Kitchen: Cooking, Talking, and the Making of Black Atlantic Traditions, 320 pp., notes, glossary, bibliography, index. New York: New York University Press, 2016. Paperback, $28.98. ISBN 9781479839551.

Schmidt, Jalane D., Cachita’s Streets: The Virgin of Charity, Race, and Revolution in Cuba, 376 pp., notes, references, index. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015. Paperback, $26.95. ISBN 9780822359371.

Stoller, Paul, The Sorcerer’s Burden: The Ethnographic Saga of a Global Family, 209 pp., references. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. Hardback, $35. ISBN 9783319318042.

Thornton, Brendan Jamal, Negotiating Respect: Pentecostalism, Masculinity, and the Politics of Spiritual Authority in the Dominican Republic, 288 pp., notes, works cited, index. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2016. Hardback, $69.95. ISBN 9780813061689.