Abstract

Critical reaction to Black Atlantic Religion: Tradition, Transnationalism, and Matriarchy in the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé (2005) has recapitulated and, in some cases, generated several central debates in the comparative study of diasporic cultures and their ostensible homelands. Together, this historical ethnography and these critical responses offer an important case study in how scholars' personal experiences and social positionality can shape what interpretations of society and history they are willing to believe and what communities they are able to imagine in a multi-sited field. Much the same diversity of experience, positionality, and imagination of community has shaped the long and international history of scholarship about Candomblé and other Afro-Atlantic religions, scholarship that has, over time, affected the practice of these religions themselves.

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