Stephen Selka investigates the role of religion in encouraging, or discouraging, the formation of black identity in Bahia, the Brazilian state that is regarded as the center of Afro-Brazilian culture, religion, and politics. As he strives to understand and theorize the crucial, but complex, relationship between religion and what he terms "Afro-Brazilian identity," Selka describes how adherents of the three primary religious trends in Bahia (Catholicism, Candomble, and evangelical Protestantism) view the effects of their religious institutions on the construction of that identity. This question is addressed through selected quotes from leaders and members of the respective religious groups (and subgroups), interspersed with questions leading to a set of theoretical considerations and reflections on religious practice, technologies of the self, identity, ethnicity and race, and social mobilization.

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

Summer 2009


Copyright © 2009, University of New Mexico. This article first appeared in Journal of Anthropological Research: 65:2 (2009), 329-331.

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