Blessed Anastacia: Women, Race and Popular Christianity in Brazil / Edition 1

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The weakness of Brazil's black consciousness movement is commonly attributed to the fragility of Afro-Brazilian ethnic identity. In a major account, John Burdick challenges this view by revealing the many-layered reality of popular black consciousness and identity in an

arena that is usually overlooked: that of popular Christianity.

Blessed Anastacia describes how popular Christianity confronts everyday racism and contributes to the formation of racial identity. The author concludes that if organizers of the black consciousness movement

were to recognize the profound racial meaning inherent in this area of popular religiosity, they might be more successful in bridging the gap with its poor and working-class constituency.

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Editorial Reviews

Anne Motley Hallum
It is unusual and refreshing for a scholar to acknowledge openly a motivation for a publication beyond that of pure research. Burdick's beautifully-written ethnography is strengthened by his candor.
Nova Religio, The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415912600
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/6/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

John Burdick is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Syracuse University. He is the author of Looking for God in Brazil (1993).

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Table of Contents


1. The Everyday Wounds of Color

Negras in Love, Family, and Work

2. Spirited Languages

The Field of Popular Christianity in Rio de Janeiro

3. The Politics of Mystical Substance

Black Women and the

Catholic Inculturated Mass

4. What is the Color of the Holy Spirit?

Racial/Color Meanings in Pentecostalism

5. The Eyes of Anastacia

Political Readings of a Popular Catholic Devotion

6. The Politics of Ethnography

Translating Knowledge

Claims into Practice


An Agenda for the Ethnography of Social Movements

formulas and always attentive to complexity, Burdick has produced both a nuanced ethnography and a contribution to theories of social movements and activist scholarship (David J. Hess, professor of anthropology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and author of Samba in the Night:

Spiritism in Brazil)

Movement in the Peruvian Andes)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2002

    Great ethnography!

    My advising professor used this book as one of the required texts for a class where I served as a TA. I must say this book was took an interesting look at how women, especially Afro-Brazilian women view themselves in the eyes of God. This book has become a great help in my research on how gender and race shape the religious experience within Christianity. It also gave me an inside view of racial inequality within Brazil, which prepared me for my trip to the country in March of this year. If you are interested in the Brazilian society and intersecting oppressions of race, gender, sexuality, etc. this book is a must read.

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