Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > "...The truth is that the center is free": Place, Space and Ethico-Political Practices in Interwoven Santo Daime Worlds

This thesis elucidates how ethical practices are also political by analyzing collective projects undertaken by religious practitioners living in two Santo Daime communities. Santo Daime is a religion that originated in the Brazilian Amazon in 1930. The research for this thesis consisted of participant observation and interviews in two distinct Santo Daime communities, the Ecovila São José on Santa Catarina Island, Brazil, and the Church of the Holy Light of the Queen, located in Ashland, Oregon, USA. In each of these communities, I documented how daimistas (practitioners of Santo Daime) live ethically according to their religious beliefs and practices beyond their church rituals. Evaluations of the data collected resulted in two conclusions: 1) the everyday, embodied work of cultivating ethical subjectivities in religiously figured worlds is political, and 2) the political realities of such worlds are contingent on the specificities of place and space.