19 June 2014
As Brazilians show the world their desire and dedication to football, BBC 2 this Friday will follow Professor Robert Beckford on a journey to the heart of Brazil, to discover how the country’s unique mixture of art, culture and religion blend together to produce an incredible spiritual diversity not experienced in any other country.
Brazilian Christianity was introduced when the country was colonised by the Portuguese almost 500 years ago. However, the uniqueness of the country’s faith lies in its ability to incorporate the many different influences of its past, including indigenous Indian beliefs, African traditions and the Catholicism of the southern Europe.
Professor Beckford, from the University’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies, explained: “Religion in Brazil is an integral part of society, in scribed into cities such as Rio and Sao Paulo. But what is amazing to see is how highly blended their Christianity is. Their religion combines the messages of the original missionaries and mixes them with the indigenous Indian beliefs and the practices of African slaves. But most importantly, for hundreds of years, the Brazilians have been able to hold together these different, competing religious traditions, such as the African beliefs of Candomblé, or ancient Indian beliefs, with European Catholicism. It is incredibly remarkable and impressive, and not seen anywhere else in the world.
“The programme is a unique telling of the story of Brazil’s religion through the use of seven wonders. By using the country’s cultural icons I hope to give a better understanding of the country and its religion through its art culture. A perfect antidote to the football!”
Seven Wonders of Brazil is on BBC 2, Friday 20 June, 9pm.
Notes to Editor
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 20,000 students, across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
- 94% of our recent UK undergraduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
- We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2012 UCAS).
- We are one of the South East’s largest provider of education, training and skills to the public service careers.
*2011/12 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey