As part of a cluster of articles on religious exopraxis, within a larger symposium on xenophilia, this essay protests against the optimistic casting of exopraxis as a sign of fluidity, porosity, and openness. It argues instead that the pragmatic capacity to navigate alien practices and spaces of devotion can also be predatory. There are cases in which exopraxis amounts to an act of predation on what makes a religion to which one does not belong successful, and there are cases in which it amounts to an act of appropriation, for one’s own purposes, of a sacred place belonging to another religion. This essay details examples found in Cape Verde, whose creole society developed from the admixture of its Portuguese settlers and its formerly enslaved African population. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Cape Verde, like many other countries in the “global South,” emerged as a scene of fierce competition between campaigns of evangelization visited on the country from Europe, the United States, Africa, and Brazil. Most of the evangelists have been Christian, but since 2010, ascetic strains of Islam have also entered the local religious field. These emergent contexts are generating unprecedented forms of predatory exopraxis that this article details and evaluates.
Skip Nav Destination
Christophe Pons; Exopraxes of Predation and the Use of Alterity in Cape Verde. Common Knowledge 1 April 2020; 26 (2): 298–307. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0961754X-8188904
Download citation file: