This important study of the intersection of sorcery, magic, and popular religiosity in colonial Brazil began as Laura de Mello e Souza’s doctoral dissertation, earned in 1986 at the Universidade de São Paulo and published in Brazil as O diabo e a terra de Santa Cruz: Feitiçaria e religiosidade popular no Brasil colonial. She does not make any substantive changes in this translation, although she does provide a statement of historiographical developments since the mid-1980s that formed the intellectual underpinning for her 1993 work, Inferno Atlântico: Demonologia e colonização. The work under review draws on a remarkably broad reading of the secondary literature available through the mid-1980s and a close reading of the appropriate primary sources, especially Inquisition records.

The book focuses on the meaning of sorcery in a world constructed of traditions drawn from Europe, Africa, and indigenous America and...

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