HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article on Brazilian anthropologist Thales de Azevedo, written in Portuguese by Antonio Guimarães (transl: “Racial Democracy and Folk Religiosity in Thales de Azevedo: Portrait of a Chatolic Anthropologist”).

Guimarães, Antonio Sérgio Alfredo, 2021. “Democracia racial e religiosidade popular em Thales de Azevedo: retrato de um antropólogo católico”, in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Brazilian anthropologist Thales de Azevedo (1904-1995) has stood out in the history of anthropology since the 1950s, when he was part of a major study on race relations in Brazil sponsored by UNESCO. In this sensitive article, Antonio Guimarães argues that Azevedo was a politically engaged Catholic whose conservatism was counterbalanced by his sense of social justice. His studies of Catholicism sought to apply anthropology to the understanding of folk religiosity in Brazil. With a focus on Brazilian folk cultures, Azevedo conducted ethnographic fieldwork and wrote about daily life and its rites. Azevedo was among the first generations of scholars who instituted anthropology as an academic discipline in Brazil and he was a central figure in the foundation and later the direction of the Brazilian Association of Anthropology. Azevedo’s vast work includes As elites de cor (1955), Catolicismo no Brasil (1955), Social Change in Brazil  (1963), and Democracia racial: ideologia e realidade (1975).

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