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Developing the DeadMediumship and Selfhood in Cuban Espiritismo$
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Diana Espirito Santo

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813060781

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813060781.001.0001

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Spiritism and the Place of the Dead in Afro-Cuban Religion

Spiritism and the Place of the Dead in Afro-Cuban Religion

(p.41) 2 Spiritism and the Place of the Dead in Afro-Cuban Religion
Developing the Dead

Diana Espírito Santo

University Press of Florida

This chapter delves into the spiritist movement and its beginnings in France and in Latin America with a view to conceptualizing how it came to assume a central ritual and cosmological function in present-day Cuba. In particular, it aims to deconstruct these multiple relations by way of two extensive case studies. First, through the notion that the “dead give birth to the deities” in Santería, a phrase which expresses the indispensability of espiritista mediums to the proper cultivation of ancestral spirits in this Yoruba-inspired religion; and second, by understanding espiritismo as embedded in the moral and material logics of the Bantu-Congo cult of Palo Monte, with which it dialogues creatively. It is further proposed that an analysis of the relationship between these two dominant religious forms requires attention to the manner in which they systematically and organically articulate espiritismo’s moral and evolutionary spiritual geography.

Keywords:   Creolization, Historical alliances, Santería, Palo Monte

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