Breathing in the Heart of the Matter

Why Padre Marcelo Needs No Wings


  • Maria Jose Alves de Abreu University of Amsterdam



Padre Marcelo Rossi, 'aerial' movement, religion and film, spirituality and the media, embodied experience


This article addresses the distinctive spiritual qualities of aerial movement. Taking as a point of departure the feature ?lm Maria, Mãe do Filho de Deus (2003) played by famous Brazilian Padre Marcelo Rossi, it argues for an engagement with cinematic images in terms of aerial dynamic imagination. It will be shown that the “inspired breath” of Padre Marcelo organizes the universe and affects the constitution of subjects and space in the ?lm according to the Scriptures. The same aerial dynamic applies to his other contexts of performance such as Byzantine praying techniques and their relation to space. Subsequently, the article explores underlying analogies between electronic technology, acoustic environment, and pneumatic spirituality within common practices of embodied experience

Author Biography

Maria Jose Alves de Abreu, University of Amsterdam

M.J. Alves de Abreu completed her undergraduate studies in 1998 at the University of Coimbra in Portugal on both physical and cultural anthropolgy, specialising in museum and material culture studies. In 1999 she completed her MA on Media and Anthropology at SOAS, University of London. Since 2000 she has been working on her Ph.D at the University of Amsterdam. Her research is on the versatile encounters of spirituality and media technology based on the CCR religious movement. Amsterdam School for Social Science Research University of Amsterdam


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How to Cite

de Abreu, M. J. A. (2005). Breathing in the Heart of the Matter: Why Padre Marcelo Needs No Wings. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 1(2-3), 325–349.