In this paper I discuss how women in a Brazilian working-class town choose among the Catholic Church, pentecostalism, and Afro-Brazilian umbanda when seeking religious help in coping with domestic conflict. I argue that umbanda and pentecostalism, as cults of affliction in which blame for domestic conflict may be safely articulated and projected onto spiritual Others, limit the possibilities for gossip and increase those of secrecy. They are thus more attractive to women than is the Catholic Church, which places blame for domestic conflict on human agents and, as a local cult that recruits on the basis of prior social identity rather than affliction, makes women's efforts to speak about their domestic problems vulnerable to gossip.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Religious studies
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)