Chapter 10 “Living the Dream”: Post-Millennial Brazilians at Hillsong College

In: Australian Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements
Cristina Rocha
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Post-Millennial middle-class Brazilians have been flocking to Hillsong International Leadership College for the past decade. Some start learning English as teenagers and fundraise for years to be able to have “the College experience.” Others defer their university studies and risk not having a job for the opportunity to join Hillsong. Drawing on three years of fieldwork research in Australia and in Brazil this paper explores why studying at Hillsong College has become a dream for this cohort. I argue that by making Pentecostalism cool, fun and fashionable on the one hand, and more amenable to middle-class sensibilities (with a focus on love and inclusion rather than on judgement and spiritual battle), Hillsong has been able to attract sectors of the Brazilian Pentecostal population who felt displaced in the very conservative, money-focused, scandal-prone local Pentecostalism. In Hillsong they see the possibility of living a global, successful and inclusive Pentecostalism, one where love for others, volunteerism and social inclusion are central.

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