What Is Candomblé?

Paul Christopher Johnson

in Secrets, Gossip, and Gods

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780195150582
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834358 | DOI:
 What Is Candomblé?

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Here, the religion of Candomblé is described. Candomblé is presented as a relatively stable system of meanings and practices. Johnson maps out the contour lines along which variations occur, the semiotic system linking historically disparate groups of practice. The key vectors of signification described include: (1) the orixás (orishas) and the digestive metaphor of exchange, (2) Africa, “Africa” and Afro‐Brazil, (3) gender and spirit possession, (4) axé and the terreiro, and (5) Candomblé in the context of a broader Brazilian religious field of spirit‐possession religions.

Keywords: Afro‐Brazilian; axé; Candomblé; gender; Orisha; Orixa; spirit possession; Terreiro

Chapter.  11390 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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