Cristina Rocha

Cristina Rocha
Résidents Labex RFIEA+
pas Eurias
Résidents Programme FIAS

dates de séjour

01/09/2021 - 30/06/2022


Anthropologie et ethnologie
Sciences de la religion

Fonction d’origine


Institution d’origine

Western Sydney University

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Transforming Pentecostalism in Brazil: Australian Megachurches, Mobility, Media and Materiality

Christianity is undergoing significant transformations in a global, digital and post-secular age. The explosion of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, particularly in the Global South, is simultaneously shifting the geographies of Christianity away from the West and creating porous religious communities and imaginaries across borders. New and reconfigured forms of Christianity are increasingly digitally mediated, engaged with youth cultures, and involving new forms of consumption, branding and identity.


This project grapples with these developments by analysing the arrival of Australian “Cool” megachurches in Brazil. It contributes significant new knowledge to areas at the forefront of debates on globalisation, religion and migration: the ways in which religion is globalised and localised in everyday life; the role of religion in migration; and the continuing vitality of religion in the public sphere in late modernity. Following the material turn, this study moves beyond ‘belief’ as a central category, and seeks to understand how assemblages of peoples, materialities and practices co-constitute one another and are sensitive to regimes of power.


It investigates how these megachurches—with their celebrity pastors, services that resemble night clubs, award-winning worship bands, corporate-like buildings, intensive use of social media—communicate excitement, modernity, and cosmopolitanism in a country where Pentecostalism is associated with the poor, corruption and marginality.


Professor Cristina Rocha is a cultural anthropologist and director of the Religion and Society Research Cluster. She is a former President of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion (2018-2019). She co-edits the Journal of Global Buddhism and the Religion in the Americas series, Brill.


She has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Utrecht (NL), Kings College and Queen Mary College (UK), CUNY Graduate Centre (USA), and the Max Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Germany). Her publications have been translated into Japanese, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Her latest book, John of God: The Globalization of Brazilian Faith Healing (OUP 2017) won the Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion at the American Anthropological Association.


Her research focuses on the intersections of globalisation, migration and religion with a special focus on the transnational connections among Brazil, Japan and Australia. She has published on Buddhism in the West and Zen Buddhism in Brazil; the New Age, healing and spirituality; and more recently, on Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities and diasporic communities. She was a recipient of the prestigious ARC Future Fellowship (2014-2018) to research transnational Pentecostal connections between Australia and Brazil and the Brazilian community in Australia, and the ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2006-2009). She is currently Chief Investigator in an ARC Discovery project (with Richard Vokes, UWA) titled “The African Diaspora and Pentecostalism in Australia: New Perspectives on Materiality, Media and Religion.”