Professor Cristina Rocha

Professor Cristina Rocha is a cultural anthropologist and director of the Religion and Society Research Cluster. She is President of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion. She co-edits the Journal of Global Buddhism and the Religion in the Americas series, Brill. She has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Utrecht (NL), Kings College and Queen Mary College (UK), CUNY Graduate Centre (USA), and the Max Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Germany). Her publications have been translated into Japanese, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Her research focuses on the intersections of globalisation, migration and religion with a special focus on the transnational connections among Brazil, Japan and Australia. She has published on Buddhism in the West and Zen Buddhism in Brazil; the New Age, healing and spirituality; and more recently, on Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities and diasporic communities. She was a recipient of the prestigious ARC Future Fellowship (2014-2018) to research transnational Pentecostal connections between Australia and Brazil and the Brazilian community in Australia. She is currently Chief Investigator in an ARC Discovery project (with Richard Vokes, UWA) titled “The African Diaspora and Pentecostalism in Australia: New Perspectives on Materiality, Media and Religion.”


2004 PhD, Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney, Australia

1998-1999 PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of São Paulo, Brazil

1996 M.Phil. (by dissertation), School of Communication and Arts, University of São Paulo, Brazil

1986 BSocSc. School of Social Sciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil.

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Honours and Awards


ARC Discovery (with Richard Vokes, UWA), "The African Diaspora and Pentecostalism in Australia: New Perspectives on Materiality, Media and Religion." AUD$ 279,000.00


President of Australian Association for the Study of Religion

Co-Editor for Journal of Global Buddhism (with M. Baumann, University of Lucerne, Switzerland & J. Maud, Georg August University, Germany)

Co-Editor for ‘Religion in the Americas’ book series, Brill (with H. Gooren, Oakland University, USA, & S. Engler, Mount Royal University, Canada)


Visiting Researcher, Department of Religious Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands.

Visiting Researcher, Brazil Institute, Kings College, University of London, UK.


ARC Future Fellow, Religion and Society Research Centre, UWS. "Pentecostal Connections: Migration, Missionaries, Mobility and Media between Australia and Brazil." AUD $707,111


Visiting Researcher, CUNY Graduate Centre, New York.
Visiting Researcher, Queen Mary College, University of London.


Visiting Research Fellow, The Max Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Gottingen, Germany.


Top forty researchers by publications (2004-2006) triennium, UWS.


ARC Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Cultural Research, UWS, "Australian-Brazilian Connections: Mapping the Cultural Traffic in the Southern Hemisphere."  AUS$238,000.00


Visiting Researcher, Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

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Selected Publications


Rocha, C. (2017) John of God: The Globalization of Brazilian Faith Healing. (opens in a new window) New York: Oxford University Press

Rocha, C. (2016) O Zen no Brasil: Em Busca da Modernidade Cosmopolita.(opens in a new window) Campinas: Editora Pontes.

Rocha, C. & M. Vásquez (2016) A Diáspora das Religiões Brasileiras. São Paulo: Ideias e Letras.

Rocha, C. and  Manuel Vasquez (2013), The Diaspora of Brazilian Religions (opens in a new window), Leiden: Brill.

Rocha, C. and M. Barker (2010), Buddhism in Australia: Traditions in Change , London: Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism series.

Rocha, C. (2006), Zen in Brazil: The Quest for Cosmopolitan Modernity (opens in a new window), Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Book Chapters

Rocha, C. (forthcoming) “Living the Dream:” Post-Millennial Brazilians at Hillsong College. In C. Rocha, M Hutchinson, and K. Openshaw (eds), Australasian Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements: Arguments from the Margins. Leiden: Brill.

Hutchinson, M, C. Rocha, K. Openshaw (forthcoming) Introduction: Australian Charismatic Movements as a Space of Flows. In C. Rocha M Hutchinson, and K. Openshaw (eds), Australasian Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements: Arguments from the Margins. Leiden: Brill.

Rocha, C. (forthcoming) How Religions Travel: Comparing the John of God Movement and a Brazilian Migrant Church. In L. van de Kamp, M. Oosterbaan and J. Bahia (eds). Lusospheres: Global Trajectories of Brazilian Religions. Bloomsbury.

Rocha, C. (2017) “The Come to Brazil Effect:” Young Brazilians’ Fascination with Hillsong. In T. Riches and T. Wagner (eds), The Hillsong Movement Examined: You Call Me out upon the Waters, pp. 125-141. NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rocha, C. (2016) Buddhism in Latin America. In M. Jerryson (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism. (opens in a new window) New York: Oxford University Press.

Rocha, C. (2016) The Globalisation of the John of God Movement: Cultural Translation as Glocalisation, in B. Schmidt and S. Engler (eds), Brill Handbook of Contemporary Brazilian Religions. (opens in a new window) Leiden: Brill.

Rocha, C. and M. Vasquez (2015) The Global Spread of Brazilian Religions, in J. Needell (ed.), Emergent Brazil: Key Perspectives on a New Global Power (opens in a new window). Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press.

Rocha, C.  and M. Vasquez (2013), " Introduction" in C. Rocha and M. Vasquez (eds), The Diaspora of Brazilian Religions , Leiden: Brill.

Rocha, C. (2013) , "Building a Transnational Spiritual Community: The John of God Movement in Australia", in C. Rocha and M. Vasquez (eds), The Diaspora of Brazilian Religions, Leiden: Brill.

Rocha, C. (2013 ), "Zen in Brazil: Cannibalizing Orientalist Flows", in E. Camayd-Freixas (ed.) Orientalism and Identity in Latin America: Fashioning Self and Others from the (Post) Colonial Margin, University of Arizona Press.

Rocha, C. (2013 ), " John of God and the Casa de Dom Inácio: Westerners at a Brazilian Spiritual Hospital", in C Moreman (ed) The Spiritualist Movement: Speaking with the Dead in America and Around the World, Westport, CT: Praeger.

Rocha, C. (2012), "Becoming a Global Village: The Impact of the John of God Pilgrimage in Abadiânia", in N. Hyndman-Rizik (ed.), Pilgrimage in the Age of Globalisation: constructions of the sacred and secular in late modernity, Cambridge Scholars Press.

Rocha, C. (2012), "Buddhism and Globalisation", in D. McMahan (ed.), Buddhism in the Modern World, UK: Routledge

Rocha, C. (2010), "The Brazilian Imaginaire of Zen: Global Influences, Rhizomatic Forms", in V. Altglas (ed.) Religion and Globalization: Critical Concepts in Social Studies, a Reader, UK: Routledge.

Rocha, C. (2010), ''Can I Put This Jizô Together with the Virgin Mary in the Altar?': Creolizing Zen Buddhism in Brazil', in, Williams, D. and Moriya, T. (eds), Issei Buddhism in the Americas, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, Chicago, pp 5-26.

Rocha, C. (2009), 'Conexiones Sur-Sur: Vivir entre Australia y Brasil', in, Solé, C., Parella, S. and Cavalcanti, L. (eds), Nuevos Retos del Transnacionalismo en el Estudio de las Migraciones, Barcelona, pp 113-127.

Rocha, C. (2009), 'A Sotoshu no Brasil: missionarios nikkeis e nao nikkeis', in, Sagawa, R. (ed.), O Nikkei Abrasleirado, Assis, pp 85-112.

Rocha, C. (2008), excerpts from 'Zen Buddhism in Brazil: Japanese or Brazilian?', in, Peterson, A. and Vasquez, M. (eds), Latin American Religions: Histories and Documents in Context, New York: NYU Press. (Formerly in: 2000, Journal of Global Buddhism, 1: 31-60).

Rocha, C. (2007), 'The Brazilian Imaginaire of Zen: Global Influences, Rhizomatic Forms', in, Pereira, R. and Matsuoka, H. (eds), Japanese Religions in and Beyond the Japanese Diaspora, Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley, pp 146-169.

Rocha, C. (2006), 'Spiritual Tourism: Brazilian Faith Healing Goes Global', in, Swatos, W. H. (ed.), On the Road to Being There: Studies in Pilgrimage and Tourism, Leiden: Brill, pp. 105-123.

Rocha, C. (2006), 'Two Faces of God: Religion and Social Class in the Brazilian Diaspora in Sydney', in, Kumar, P. P. (ed.), Religious Pluralism in the Diaspora, Leiden: Brill, pp 147-160.

Rocha, C. (2002), '"Se Você se Deparar com Buda, Mate Buda!" – Reflexões sobre a reapropriação do Zen-budismo no Brasil', in, Usarski, F. (ed.), O Budismo no Brasil – Uma religião entre tradição e adoção, São Paulo: Lorosae, pp 221-251.

Rocha, C. (2001), 'Catholicism and Zen Buddhism: A Vision of the Religious Field in Brazil', in, Cusack, C. and Oldmeadow, P. (eds), The End of Religion? Religion in an Age of Globalisation, Sydney Studies in Religion Series, Sydney: University of Sydney, pp 249-265.

Rocha, C. (2000), 'Tea Ceremony in Japan and its Appropriation in Brazil: A Metaphor of the Japanese Spirit', in, Dekker, T., Helsloot, J. and Wijers, C. (eds), Roots and Rituals: The Construction of Ethnic Identities, Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis, pp 527-537.

Journal Articles 

Rocha, C. (forthcoming) “God is in Control:” Middle-Class Pentecostalism and International Student Migration. Journal of Contemporary Religion.

Rocha, C. (2016) A Megaigreja Hillsong no Brasil: A constituição de um campo religioso transnacional entre o Brasil e a Austrália. Plural: Rev. de Ciências Sociais USP. (opens in a new window) 23 (2): 162-181.

Rocha, C. (2015) A Globalização da Cura Espírita: Biomedicina, João de Deus e seus Seguidores Australianos. Tempo Social 27 (1): 95-115.

Rocha, C. (2014) A Globalização do Budismo. Estudos de Religião 28 (2): 59-73. (opens in a new window)

Rocha, C. and G. Coronado (2014) Imagining Latin America in Australia: Migration, Culture and Multiculturalism, Introduction to special issue of Journal of Intercultural Studies 35 (5): 467-474.

Rocha, C. (2014) Triangular Circulation: Japanese Brazilians on the move between Japan, Australia and Brazil, Journal of Intercultural Studies 35 (5): 493-512.

C. Wulfhorst, C. Rocha, and G. Morgan (2014) Intimate Multiculturalism: Transnationalism and Belonging amongst Capoeiristas in Australia, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40 (11): 1798-1816.

Rocha, C. and M. Vasquez (2014) O Brasil na Nova Cartografia Global da Religião. Religião e Sociedade 34 (1): 13-37.

Rocha, C. (2013), 'Transnational Pentecostal Connections: an Australian Megachurch and a Brazilian Church in Australia', PentecoStudies, 12 (1): 62-82. (opens in a new window)

Rocha, C. (2011) Establishing the John of God Movement in Australia: Healing, Hybridity and Cultural Appropriation, Ethnologies, 33 (1): 143-167.

Rocha, C. (2011), 'A Sôtô Zenshû no Brazil: A Creolização de Práticas Cotidianas' (opens in a new window), Rever, 11 (2): 87-100.

Rocha C. (2010), 'A Globalização do Espiritismo: o Movimento Religioso de João de Deus na Austrália', Revista de Antropologia.

Rocha, C. (2009), 'Global Power Relations at Play in Fieldwork: Researching Spiritism in Brazil', Fieldwork in Religion, 3(2): 145-160.

Rocha, C. (2009), 'A globalização do espiritismo: fluxos do movimento religioso de João de Deus entre a Austrália e o Brasil', Revista de Antropologia, vol.52 no.2 São Paulo.

Rocha, C. (2009), 'Seeking Healing Transnationally: Australians and Brazilian Spiritism', The Anthropology Journal of Australia, 20(2): 229-246.

Rocha, C. (2008), 'All Roads Come from Zen: Busshinji as a Reference to Buddhism in Brazil', Japanese Journal of Religious Studies [Special Issue Japanese Religions in Brazil], 35(1): 81-94.

Rocha, C. (2008), 'The Brazilians in Sydney', in, The Dictionary of Sydney/ Sydney Journal, 1(2).

Rocha, C. (2007), 'Quêtes transnationales de médecines «traditionnelles»: la guérison spirituelle brésilienne en Océanie' ['Seeking "Traditional" Medicine Transnationally: Brazilian Faith Healing in Oceania'], Socio-Anthropologie, 21: 37-50.

Rocha, C. (2006) A Long and Winding Road: Cross-Cultural Connections between Brazil, Australia and Japan, New Voices special issue: Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Australia-Japan Relationship, 1 (1): 35-45.

Rocha, C. (2006) Rezando Preces Budistas e Católicas: A Crioulização de Rituais Zen no Brasil, Revista Ponto de Encontro, special issue 'Japanese Religions in Brazil', The Japan Foundation São Paulo, 1 (1).

Rocha, C. (2005) Grafting Cultures: Longing and Belonging in Immigrants' Gardens and Backyards in Fairfield, (with George Morgan, and Scott Poynting) Journal of Intercultural Studies, 26 (1-2): 93-105.

Rocha, C. (2004) Zazen or not Zazen: The Predicament of Sôtôshû's Kaikyôshi in Brazil, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 31 (1): 163-184.

Rocha, C. (2001) Zen Buddhism in the Land of Catholicism, Revista de Estudos da Religião, 1 (1): 57-72.

Rocha, C. (2000) The Appropriation of Zen Buddhism in Brazil, Japan Studies Review, 4: 33-52.

Rocha, C. (2000) Zen Buddhism in Brazil: Japanese or Brazilian?, Journal of Global Buddhism, 1: 31-60.

Rocha, C. (1999) Identity and Tea Ceremony in Brazil, Japanese Studies, 19 (3): 287-295.

Rocha, C. (1998) A Cerimônia do Chá como Fator de Identidade Cultural para Imigrantes Japoneses e seu Descendentes no Brasil [Tea Ceremony as a Marker of Cultural Identity for the Japanese Immigrants and Descendants in Brazil], Estudos Japoneses, Center for Japanese Studies, University of São Paulo, 18:  39-48.

Rocha, C. (1987) Traços da Cultural Japonesa no Período Meiji [Japanese Culture in the Meiji Period], Cadernos de Política Comparada, Japan Series 2:  29-40.

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