Dissertation Abstracts

Neo-hinduism from Rio: a sociological study of a vedanta group

Author: Thaís S. Assis, thaissassis@gmail.com
Department: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Sociologia e Antropologia
University: Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Supervisor: María Eloísa Martín
Year of completion: 2017
Language of dissertation: Portuguese

Keywords: sociology of religion , neo-hinduism , brazilian religious field , urban middle classes
Areas of Research: Religion , Regional and Urban Development , Social Classes and Social Movements


This dissertation addresses the issue of contemporary forms of religious expression of the Brazilian urban middle classes. Based on a sociological case study carried out in a group of carioca vedanta and the analysis of how Neo-hinduism is experienced and conceived by its members, the work presents what being religious means for a group of carioca urban middle-class. Taking into consideration the observation and participation of the group activities, as well as interviews with its members, the field data collection is depicted with reference to the characteristics of the transnationalization of Hinduism and the changing dynamics in the Brazilian religious scenario over the last decades. These analyses deal mainly with the problematization of the explanatory capacity of religion concept concerning contemporary forms of religious expression, especially those identified as non-conventional. The aim is to provide an approach that enhances the understanding of religious manifestations that lie on the fringes of religion concept.

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