Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren


  • Ordep SerraEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_524


Candomblé is an African-Brazilian religion characterized by invocation and celebration of holy spirits (African gods, semi-divine ancestors, and other powerful spirits) who are believed to possess initiated people in enthusiastic trance. It is presupposed that every human creature is under the government of one or more gods whose identity can be recognized by means of divinatory rites, but only some persons can “receive” in their bodies the divine beings. Gods and spirits must be propitiated through offerings and animal sacrifices in order to make possible the transmission of the sacred vital force indispensable for the maintenance of health and well-being.


There is no uniformity in Candomblé’s universe, no single and invariable Kultbild. Differences in the liturgy and in the hierarchical organization of its many communities are always to be expected. Notwithstanding this variation, there are principles the Candomblé practitioners of different ritual...


Candomblé African-Brazilian religions Calundu African “nations” in Brazil as religious denominations Spirit-possession Brazilian popular Catholicism Syncretism 
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal University of BahiaSalvador da BahiaBrazil