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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Alternative modernities: statecraft and religious imagination in the Valley of the Dawn

  • Author(s): Holston, James
  • et al.

Many new religions promote the emblems and institutions of modern nation-states.  In this article, I consider an example from Brazil, analyzing the mimetic relations between its modernist capital, Brasília, and a millenarian and ecstatic religion called the Valley of the Dawn located on the city's outskirts.  I focus on the project of salvation that each sponsors and on a religious ritual that stages a judicial event associated with the state.  Arguing against compensatory explanations, I suggest that both state and religion are performances, mutually critical, of the same paradigm of modernity.

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