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Deus in MachinaReligion, Technology, and the Things in Between$
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Jeremy Stolow

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823249800

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823249800.001.0001

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TV St. Claire

TV St. Claire

(p.261) TV St. Claire
Deus in Machina

Maria José A. de Abreu

Fordham University Press

This chapter presents a meditation on the efforts of Brazil's Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) to replenish modern technological airspace. In order to understand the CCR's embodied techniques for breathing and for occupying space, and in an effort to critique the metaphors of surface and depth that have been used to interpret the CCR movement as a whole, the chapter revisits medieval conceptions of the air as a substance rather than an empty dimension. The chapter then demonstrates how those understandings have shaped religious and technological developments in Brazil, culminating in the construction of a monastery dedicated to the medieval order of the Poor Clares located directly within a CCR-supported global media religious network, based in Sao Paulo. Questions about space, time, and technology emerge in the course of this analysis, leading to the chapter's concluding reassessment of Walter Benjamin's notion of “aura,” not so much as a visual representation but rather, more fundamentally, as something that is breathed.

Keywords:   Airspace, Poor Clares, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Brazil, Aura, Walter Benjamin

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