Santería Sacrificial Rituals: A Reconsideration of Religious Violence


  • Mary Ann Clark University of Houston



The connections between religion and violence, including all types of sacrifice, have a long-standing history of scholarly concern. Because Santería (along with other African-based religions) engages in rituals of sacrifice that include the immolation of animals, an exploration of sacrifice and other types of religious violence through the lens of these religions may provide new insights into these activities. In this article I suggest that the standard approaches to the issues of religion, sacrifice, and violence are flawed by their Indo-European ethnocentrism and that the perspectives of religions like Santería and the Yoruba traditional religion can reconfigure the place of sacrifice in the religious milieu and call into question both the rhetoric and use of violence in other traditions.


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How to Cite

Clark, M. A. (2007). Santería Sacrificial Rituals: A Reconsideration of Religious Violence. Pomegranate, 8(2), 133–145.