Dividualism and individualism in indigenous Christianity: A debate seen from Amazonia

Aparecida Vilaça


The aim of the article is to intervene in one of the most interesting contemporary debates in the anthropology of Christianity, the issue of the relationship between dividualism and individualism, by exploring a specifically Amazonian configuration of this opposition through my own ethnographic research with the Wari’, an indigenous group of southwest Amazonia. My interest in this topic extends beyond the limits of the debate itself: I see it as a favorable environment for demonstrating the productivity of concepts originating from Amazonian ethnology—especially the Lévi-Straussian notions of “opening to the Other” and “dualism in perpetual disequilibrium,” as well as the perspectivism conceptualized by Viveiros de Castro—in more general discussions of cultural change, a topic on which I have been working over the last twenty years.


Amazonia, Christianity, ontology, perspectivism, individualism, cultural change, alternation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14318/hau5.1.010