Cristina Rocha is a senior lecturer at the School of Humanities and Languages and a member of the Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney, Australia. She is an anthropologist with research interests in religion, globalisation, transnationalism and migration. In particular, her work is in the areas of Buddhism in the West, the globalisation of Brazilian religions.
She is the managing editor of the Journal of Global Buddhism with Prof Martin Baumann (University of Lucerne) and Jovan Maud (MPI). Previously, she was the recipient of the Urasenke Foundation Scholarship, the Japan Foundation Fellowship (at the National Museum of Ethnology at Osaka), and the Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship. She was also a visiting fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Cristina was completing an edited collection (with Manuel Vasquez) titled The Diaspora of Brazilian Religions (Brill), and writing a book manuscript titled Seeking Healing in Brazil: John of God and the Globalisation of Spiritism. John of God is a Brazilian Spiritist faith healer who has been attracting a large number of followers overseas. Since 2001 he has conducted healing events in the USA (annually), Germany, Austria, and New Zealand, among other countries. A large number of people attend these events, and many more have been to his healing centre in the small town of Abadiânia, central Brazil. Such a global exposure has been accompanied by an intense flow of people, ideas, and sacred objects between John of God’s healing centre in Brazil and these countries. Through this research Cristina investigates transnational religious social fields and ‘religious remittances’ between Brazil and these Western countries, with a particular focus on Australia. The key themes of this book are: the establishment of transnational communities of belief, the efficacy of healing across cultures, the intertwining of modernity and tradition in the developing and developed world, and the transformation of poor rural areas into sites of globalisation.
Stay at MPI-MMG:
August - December 2011