3. Fieldwork and Embodied Knowledge: Researching the Experiences of Spirit Mediums in the Brazilian Vale do Amanhecer
University of Wales Trinity Saint David
This chapter addresses the question of researching a particular kind of religious experience that arises from phenomena of spirit mediumship and possession. It discusses the implications of the ethnographic method, tackling particularly the engagement of the researcher’s body in the field as a methodological tool for approaching a practice that is grounded in embodied forms of encounter with the sacred. The mediums’ relationship with the sacred is hereby considered as something lived through on a bodily, sensorial and emotional dimension. The discussion draws upon the author’s fieldwork in the Spiritualist Christian Order Vale do Amanhecer in Brazil.