Transnational Ways of Knowing the Spirits: Mediumship in the Vale do Amanhecer
(Sapienza University of Rome)
Paper short abstract:
Considering the current spread of temples of the Brazilian Vale do Amanhecer, this paper compares the experiences of mediums learning to manifest spirits in temples in Brazil and Italy, to explore the development of ways of knowing spirits and thus of a mediumistic body at a transnational level.
Paper long abstract:
Religious travel and mobility have contributed to the current spread of temples of the Brazilian Vale do Amanhecer (Valley of the Dawn) in Europe. Members of this Spiritualist Christian Order practise spirit mediumship for the spiritual healing of patients visiting the temple, consisting in the release of spirts remained trapped between the planes after death troubling humans in their physical, affective and material matters. The Vale do Amanhecer considers mediumship to be produced by human bodies and, as such, it may be potentially developed by anyone; and both mediums and their spirits are actively engaged in the process of learning mediumship. As this spiritual practice spreads transnationally, how are spirit guides considered to be involved in the mobility of mediums travelling to open temples and prepare local mediums and spirits? How do new mediums in development learn to manifest spirit guides from another culture according to specific modalities? How do the ways they learn to relate to each other inform the construction of a mediumistic body at a transnational level? This paper compares the experiences of mediums in temples in Brazil and Italy, exploring the cognitive, bodily and affective aspects as intertwined in the development of specific ways of knowing spirits in contexts of transnational mobility.
Divine mobilities: how gods and spirits move through the world