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Guarani Religion

Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xxiii ] The present-day Guarani live dispersed in small groups in southern Brazil, Paraguay and north-eastern Argentina. Their religion which, in its structure and function, perpetuates the religion of the ancient Guarani, can be defined as one of inspiration, sacramentalized in song and dance, guided by prophets in search of the ‘Land without Evil’ ( Yvy Marã'ey ), the celestial paradise of the Creator. All Guarani receive from the divinities a soul that is the word, the name. Its function is to confer on man the gift of language, divine wisdom that is represented in sacred hymns. The word, love, and the hymn that generates the loving word make the Guarani who he or she is; an individual who loses the word loses his soul and is no longer Guarani. Their cultural ideal is the mystical living of the divinity which depends on the spiritual disposition to hear the voice of revelation. Guarani prophetism, far from being an effect of contact (although this has contributed to its appearance), is rooted in traditional religion, myths of world-creation and destruction, and the extraordinary powers invested in the carai , S hamans /prophets, true priests whose lives are dedicated to inspiration and the search for perfection. [6; 21] ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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