Holy Cross Lecture to Explore Afro-Catholic Tradition in Brazil

October 21st, 2013 by Danielle Kane

Stephen Selka, associate professor in American studies and in religious studies at Indiana University, will give a lecture titled “Our Lady of the Good Death: Afro-Catholicism in the Brazilian National Imagination” on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. in the Rehm Library, Smith Hall, at the College of the Holy Cross. The lecture, presented by the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, is free and open to the public.

Author of “Religion and the Politics of Ethnic Identity in Bahia, Brazil” (University Press of Florida, 2007), Selka will focus on the Sisterhood of the Good Death (Boa Morte) in Bahia, Brazil and their week-long Feast of the Assumption. The holiday is a blend of Catholicism and Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion that has its roots in the African slave trade. Selka explores current Afro-Brazilian religious practice in the context of cultural tourism, the state’s investment in cultural heritage, and a black consciousness movement trying to reclaim the Afro-Brazilian heritage from political and commercial appropriation.

This lecture is part of Catholics and Cultures, and initiative to better understand the religious lives and practices of Catholics around the world. To learn more about this event and find lectures online, visit www.holycross.edu/mcfarlandcenter.

About the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture:

Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College’s commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope.  The Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider world to examine the role of faith and inquiry in higher education and in the larger culture.

For additional information, please contact Bridget Cass at 508-793-2419.

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