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Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review

Volume 9, Issue 2, 2018

Stefano Bigliardi
Pages 190-219
DOI: 10.5840/asrr2018101651

Santo Daime Narratives In Italy
Walter Menozzi, Stella Azzurra, and the Conceptualization of Ayahuasca and Science

The essay examines in detail the theology of Walter Menozzi, founder and leader of the Italian Santo Daime association Stella Azzurra, the history of which is also reconstructed here. Focusing both on the views expressed in Menozzi’s writings and on some narratives collected at a ritual in which the author actively participated, the study identifies eight ways in which ayahuasca, the psychoactive brew that is identified as a sacrament by Santo Daime affiliates, and science are conflated with religion by Santo Daime followers in order to substantiate, strengthen, and defend ayahuasca-related theology.