conclusion
MILLENARIANISM, STATE FORMATI
AND RESISTANCE
More than once while writing this book and struggling to tame its man
ments and fulfill its larger ambitions, I asked myself, ‘‘Why not write a
study of the Pedro Batista movement and be done with it?’’ Although cert
expedient, to have done sowould have been to enclose my subject in far to
strictiveaformat.Myengagementoverthreedecadeswiththetopicof Bra
millenarianism and my years spent with Brazilian millenarianists conv
me that a more sweeping narrative and hybridized genre were required t
the story I needed to tell. Others may find that more conventional form
another experimental form work best for them. I would hope, however
in the future scholars will take up my challenge to recognize Brazilian m
narianism as a traveling cultural formation. It is in historical motion, re
ongoing social production among a wide range of actors and institution
volves intertexual comparisons and borrowing among movements, deals
matters and emotions of spirituality and faith, and is subject to political
testation and accommodation.
This study has touched on several dimensions of Brazilian millenaria
that have received inadequate attention. Byexamining millenarianism as
tural formation over the longue durée, I have mapped its multiple role
changing course over several centuries of Brazilian history. In doing so
comes to appreciate that in Brazil millenarianism is a symbolic resource
people have long struggled over and deployed in the pursuit of power, we
g
2003.12.9
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