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Sacrifice and Modern Thought$
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Julia Meszaros and Johannes Zachhuber

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659289

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659289.001.0001

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Blood Sacrifice as a Symbol of the Paradigmatic Other

Blood Sacrifice as a Symbol of the Paradigmatic Other

The Debate about Ebó-Rituals in the Americas

Chapter:
(p.197) 13 Blood Sacrifice as a Symbol of the Paradigmatic Other
Source:
Sacrifice and Modern Thought
Author(s):

Bettina E. Schmidt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659289.003.0013

The chapter discusses how the Christian perception of sacrifice has affected Afro-American religions, in particular the Cuban Orisha religion in the USA (formerly called Santerìa) and Candomblé in Brazil. Many Afro-American religions require from their devotees offerings for the deities (ebó) as part of their regular rituals but also to ensure special requests for protection or support. The most controversial form of offering is the blood sacrifice, the ritual slaughter of animals, which became, as the chapter argues, the symbol of the paradigmatic other. The chapter shows how the misconceptions about animal sacrifice, in particular when transferred in a different cultural context and imposed by visual impressions, are used to enforce boundaries between religions.

Keywords:   Animal sacrifice, Blood sacrifice, Santerìa, Cuba, Orisha religion, USA, Candomblé, Brazil, ebó

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