Johnson, Paul C.

Paul C. Johnson – Visiting associate professor in history at the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Johnson is the author of the award-winning book Secrets, Gossip and Gods: The Transformation of Brazilian Candomblé (2002), which explores the role of “secretism” in this and other religions. Instead of the dubious notion of “syncretism,” which suggests that there are “pure forms” of religions and cultures that may be corrupted when they encounter one another, Johnson proffers a richer understanding of the way in which persecuted and marginal Creole or hybrid groups, cultures, and practices survive and even thrive. In an article that compares research among practitioners of Candomblé and those of Garifuna religion, he refines the utility of the term indigenous by exploring the way in which these two religions “extend” and “indigenize” the practices and identities of their practitioners and their wider cultures.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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