The Religious Project of “Padrinho Laudelino” in Southern Brazil in the First Half of the 20th Century: Between Saint Francis of Assisi and Afro-Indigenous Ancestry

Artur Cesar Isaia


This text is about a religious project carried out in the first half of the 20th century by an African descendant man, an official of the Brazilian Navy, in Porto Alegre, capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Laudelino founded a place of worship, with a diversified pantheon, which ranged from former African enslaved blacks and Brazilian Indians to Catholic bishops. It is the “Spiritist Shelter Francis of Assisi”. The experience is discussed here as being inherent to the multi-differentiated nature of Umbanda: a religion in which both a hierarchical centralization and a rigid doctrinal explicitness are absent. Therefore, being aware of the cultual and doctrinal diversity is crucial to understand Umbanda in its historicity. In this perspective, this text discusses “Padrinho Laudelino’s” experience and his effort to create an Umbanda and a self-image that are able to resemble his horizon of understanding of religion: Catholicism.

Keywords: Mediumistic religions; Afro-Brazilian religions; Memory.

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/10-10-03

Publication date:May 31st 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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