7. How it is Going the Marriage of Heaven and Earth? Spirituality, Wellbeing and Environment in Brazil

Environmental Spirituality and Wellbeing - Integrating Social and Therapeutic Theory and Practice - Jeff Leonardi

Marta Helena de Freitas [+-]
Catholic University of Brasilia
Marta Helena de Freitas is Professor at the Catholic University of Brasilia - UCB, since 1989. She is a psychologist with a Master in Social Psychology and Personality, Ph.D. in Psychology, University of Brasilia. Post-Doctor in Psychology of Religion, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, and also in Culture Psychology, University of Oporto, Portugal. Researches on the following topics: psychology of religion, thanatology, gerontology, the Rorschach psychodiagnostic, phenomenology, training in psychology and mental health. Coordinator of Psychology & Religion Working Group of National Association of Post-Graduation and Research in Psychology – ANPEPP and member of International Association for the Psychology of Religion – IAPR.
Pierre Yves Lenik [+-]
Film Composer
Pierre Yves Lenik is a French film music composer, working in the television documentaries area for 30 years. Previously he studied cinema (Serav), history (Ma), and geography, at Lyon 2 Lumiere University, and was a student of Philippe LeBreton who was a precursor of ecology in France in 80’, and a deep protector of “Mother Nature”. Since then, he has a strong interest in ecological process, and in relationship between indigenous people and nature. In 1997, he attends the conferences of the anthropologist Jeremy Narby, and discovered the concept of “DNA and the origins of Knowledge” in the book: “The cosmic serpent” and attend rituals of health transformation through “dance of fire”. He is also a teacher in Lyon cinema school “3iS”, and his main subject is: “critical listening of movies soundtracks.”


Inspired by the metaphor of the Marriage of Heaven and Earth, we shall attempt in this presentation to describe some psycho-sociocultural aspects of the relationships between spirituality, wellbeing, and the environment in Brazil, from a phenomenological perspective. Firstly, we shall try to put into historical and contemporary context the indigenous cosmology in Brazil and its implications for the relationship between human beings and nature. Secondly, we shall explore the impact of the influx of immigrants to this country on the indigenous people’s lives, cosmology, relationships with nature, wellbeing, and health in general. We then propose to explore five aspects involved in this complex journey: a)  the role of religion, religiosity and spirituality in this process; b) the psychological mechanisms involved in the specific features of the spiritual and religious systems that may have positive and/or negative impacts on the global environment in general, and this country in particular; c) the specific impacts on the relationship between indigenous people and health professionals based on the researches whose results illustrate the conflicts between indigenous cosmology and medical science; d) the challenges for and the impacts of this situation on health policy for indigenous people in Brazil, and for the population in general, relating to the cultural identity, physical and mental health, and the environment; e) the implications for educational/training of future social and health professionals.

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de Freitas, Marta Helena; Lenik, Pierre Yves. 7. How it is Going the Marriage of Heaven and Earth? Spirituality, Wellbeing and Environment in Brazil. Environmental Spirituality and Wellbeing - Integrating Social and Therapeutic Theory and Practice. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Jun 2025. ISBN 9781800505841. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=45137. Date accessed: 21 Jul 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.45137. Jun 2025

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