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Becoming ‘Jewish’ believing in Jesus? Conversion, gender and ethnicity in the production of the Judaising Evangelical subject



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Carpenedo, Manoela 


Based on an ethnography conducted between 2013–2015 within a religious community in Brazil, this thesis investigates the meanings of a growing worldwide religious movement fusing beliefs and identity claims deriving from Judaism and Charismatic Evangelicalism. Unlike Messianic Judaism, where Jewish-born people identified as believers in Jesus remain faithful to their Jewish traditions while observing Charismatic Evangelical practices or Christian Zionism, Evangelicals who emphasise the theological and eschatological importance of Jews living in Israel, this thesis addresses a different dimension of this trend. Focusing particularly on women’s conversion narratives, this study investigates the reasons why Charismatic Evangelical Brazilians are actively embracing a version of Judaism that requires them to follow the strict dress codes and purity laws of Orthodox Jews while believing in Jesus as the Messiah. My analysis concluded that the emergence of these communities should be understood as a revival aiming to restore some Charismatic Evangelical practices. Pointing to the moral permissiveness, materialism, individualism, and petitionary rhetoric enforced in their former Charismatic Evangelical churches—influenced by Neo-Pentecostal tenets—they embrace an austere religious style characterised by self- cultivation centred in Jewish ritual and ethos. This pious revival also involves recovering a collective past. References to a hidden Jewish heritage and a ‘return’ to Judaism are mobilised for justifying the community’s strict adherence to Jewish practices. Drawing upon a socio-cultural and gender-sensitive analysis, this study examines the historical, religious and subjective reasons behind this emerging ‘Judaising’ trend in Charismatic Evangelicalism. This thesis also engages with the literature of religious conversion, morality, cultural change and debates examining hybridisation processes.





Lehmann, David


religious bricolage, World Christianity, religious syncretism, gender and religion, collective memory


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge
Cambridge Overseas Trusts Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Capes)