Rial “Banal religiosity”

Rial, Carmen. 2012.  Banal religiosity: Brazilian athletes as new missionaries of the neo-Pentecostal diaspora. Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology 9(2): 128-159.

Abstract: This article is about the relationship between football and religion. It focuses on the recent proliferation of neo-Pentecostalism among Brazilian football players living abroad and the importance of religion in their daily lives. Serving as a civilizing device that promotes better insertion of individuals in modern institutions, neo-Pentecostalism promotes voluntary obedience, self-control, self-awareness and reflexivity, by encouraging the conscious and constant monitoring of the individual over the body and emotions. This self-discipline has a limit, and the Theology of Prosperity offers conciliation between asceticism and material consumption. Football provides religion a large stage for its preaching, allowing it to reach billions of homes. The athletes become “selfless soldiers of the Word,” who demonstrate the faith globally and disseminate banal religion through the mediascape.

Keywords: Football, Religion, neo-Pentecostalism, Football Players, Banal Religion, Emigration