Book release

Dawson, A. 2012.
Santo Daime: A New World Religion.
London: Bloomsbury.

ISBN: 978-1-4411-0299-7; 978-1-4411-5424-8.

‘One of the best case studies of a new religion ever published.’ Lorne L. Dawson (University of Waterloo, Canada).

‘Provocative and instructive, this is a book to be recommended to anyone interested in the ever-increasing varieties of religious experience.’ Eileen Barker (London School of Economics, UK).

Santo Daime: A New World Religion deals with a young, exotic and controversial religious movement. Emerging in the Brazilian Amazon in the 1930s, Santo Daime has since spread to many of the world’s major cities. Santo Daime is a mixture of indigenous, popular Catholic, Afro-Brazilian, esoteric, Spiritist, and new age beliefs and activities. Ritual practice is centred on the consumption of a psychotropic beverage called ‘Daime’ which members believe enhances their interaction with the supernatural world. Because Daime is treated as an illegal narcotic in many parts of the world, outside of its Brazilian homeland most Santo Daime rituals are practised clandestinely. This book unites extensive fieldwork experience with an established theoretical background and makes a significant contribution to understanding the contemporary interface of religion and late-modern society. Individualization and religious subjectivism, pluralization and religious hybridism, transformation and detraditionalization, globalization and religious identity, and commoditization and religious consumption are among the many issues engaged by this book.

Santo Daime: A New World Religion is an accessible and multi-disciplinary book suitable for undergraduate students and researchers working in Religious Studies, Sociology of Religion, Anthropology, Cultural Studies and Latin American Studies. Andrew Dawson is Senior Lecturer in Religion at Lancaster University, UK.