The dissertation makes a contribution to different fields of Cultural and Social Anthropology, such us Ethnomedicine, Anthropology of Religion and Anthropological Consciousness Research. The focus of the broad empirical researches in São Paulo addresses to healers of two local Brazilian religions – Spiritism and Umbanda. They provide an insight not only into their local medical knowledge systems and therapeutic traditions, but moreover in ongoing processes of Hybridity, Plurality, Bricolage and Syncretism. The study demonstrates the complex connections of life stories, life styles, education, cosmology, religion and therapeutic praxis. Thereby individual ways and common structures become both recognisable. The results of each biographical case study are compared due to several dimensions (experience mission, learning of therapeutic capabilities and healing methods, concept of disease and healing, spiritual entities, ritual praxis) and show diversity of approaches and therapeutic possibilities as well as mutual basic patterns.
The title “Education of Consciousness” was an aware choice, in order to underline the central role of the presented healers, which they undertake as a “trainer of the consciousness”. Their challenge involves showing a way to people with an objective to return to the essential.
This destination is achievable by educating someone’s consciousness. The healers clarify the spiritual nature, explain the coherencies between transcendence and material and produce a spiritual transformation of one’s world outlook and obtain thus a deep existential healing.
Brazil, Healing, Ethnomedicine, Spiritism, Umbanda, Biography, Anthropology of Religion, Ritual