Samba in the Night: Spiritism in Brazil / Edition 1

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Overview

Written as an informal first-person narrative, Samba in the Nightis an absorbing account of an anthropologist's fieldwork and explorations into alternative religions in Brazil that invites the reader into the mysterious world of spirit mediums, poltergeists, psychic surgery, exorcism, and spiritual healing.

Hess provides colorful descriptions of rituals and at the same time weaves in a detective story about the complex relations between Spiritism and the rest of their world. Through a variety of anecdotes about spirit mediums, doctors, engineers, lawmakers, Jesuits, and past-life therapists, the book offers an introduction to Brazilian religons and society as well as to the art of anthropological fieldwork.

An absorbing account of an anthropologist's fieldwork and explorations into alternative religions in Brazil. Samba in the Night invites the reader into the mysterious world of spirit mediums, poltergeists, psychic surgery, exorcism, and spiritual healing.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hess (anthropology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst.) has written an ethnography of his personal journey through Spiritism as well as Kardecism, Umbanda, Candomble, and other alternative religions in Brazil. The emphasis is on Spiritism, a philosophy grounded in science with Christian morality, which is likened to the Brazilian form of Zen Buddhism with talking. Hess's accessible narrative takes the reader on a journey through spirit mediums, psychic surgery (cyst removal), exorcism, and poltergeists. The journey is neither a travelog of Brazil nor a synthesis of the Brazilian religious scene but a fieldwork study of the complex way in which race and social class influence religion. A popular overview of Brazilian religion and society. For appropriate collections.-L. Kriz, Sioux City P.L., Ia.
Booknews
In this informal narrative, Hess (anthropology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) explores alternative religions and Spiritism in Brazil. Hess observes Spiritist sessions involving exorcism, spiritual healing, psychic surgery, poltergeists, and reincarnation. He considers the differences between Spiritism and other religions in Brazil and explores the ways in which race, class, and gender shape religion. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231084321
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 5/19/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 214
  • Product dimensions: 6.29 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

David J. Hess is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Science and Technology Studies Department at Rensselaer Ploytechnic Institute.

Columbia University Press

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