Shamanic spiritual activism: Alternative development in the Brazilian Itamboatá valley

Francesca Fois

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Drawing upon critiques that claim a lack of interest in spirituality in development studies, this paper aims to show how alternative ethical forms of development can be enacted when adopting shamanic spiritual worldviews. The paper draws upon ethnographic research conducted in Terra Mirim, an intentional shamanic community, located in the Itamboatá valley, Bahia, Brazil. Drawing upon contributions from Chicano scholars, this research engages with the concept of ‘spiritual activism’ to understand how alternative ontologies of development are shaped around the idea of interconnectedness and relational consciousness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-355
Number of pages18
JournalThird World Thematics: A TWQ Journal
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2017


  • Development
  • Alternative spiritualities
  • Faith-based organisations
  • Spiritual Activism
  • Shamanism
  • Brazil


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