Class, Sin, and the Displaced

Part of the New Approaches to Religion and Power book series (NARP)


The reflection that follows was first conceived some decades ago when I was working with displaced peasants in the southwest of Brazil. The peasants were once small-scale farmers who could fend for themselves in the little parcels of land they had for family farming. During the radical change in the agrarian policies of the military regime in the country (1964–1985), with subsidies diverted to and incentives created for large monoculture export-oriented farming, they ended up in debt and were driven off their land due to fiscal obligations to money lenders, becoming landless peasants, moving from region to region in search of seasonable work when available. Among the displaced peasants were also those who were forcefully relocated to other places due to the construction of a mega-dam (Itaipú at the border of Brazil and Paraguay). Relocated, they were often not able to make ends meet and were finally also displaced to join the millions of peasants without land of their own to cultivate.


Class Struggle Class Consciousness Class Society Paradise Lost Money Lender 
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© Joerg Rieger 2013

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