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Secrets, Gossip, and GodsThe Transformation of Brazilian Candomblé$
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Paul Christopher Johnson

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195150582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195150589.001.0001

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Public Space to Secret Place

Public Space to Secret Place

Initiation and the Logic of Passage

(p.103) 5 Public Space to Secret Place
Secrets, Gossip, and Gods

Paul Christopher Johnson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Shifts attention to the contemporary ritual practice of secrecy, focusing especially on initiation as a rite of passage. The chapter addresses (1) how secrecy is communicated and expressed spatially, (2) how that concept of a space of secrecy is transmitted from the group to arriving individuals and reproduced in the “closed bodies” of individuals sealed by initiation, and (3) how the reproduction of secrecy relies upon and incorporates coordinates of national legitimacy created between 1890 and 1940 to mark the spatial progression of the initiate. It is demonstrated that secrecy has less to do with the restriction of information than with bodily containment and the making of a “closed body” (corpo fechado).

Keywords:   body, initiation, rite of passage, ritual, secrecy, space

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