Pentecostal exorcism and Afro-Cuban endorcism: Radical participation' and the proliferation of symmetries

Manuela Canton-Delgado, Anastasios Panagiotopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, we discuss personal moments of our respective ethnographic research on Guatemalan Pentecostalism and Afro-Cuban religiosity. Through our own involvement, we expose the approaches of the two religious forms, the former working by way of exorcism and the latter by way of endorcism. Guatemalan Pentecostal exorcism works by a radical expulsion of the previous non-Pentecostal past to strictly convert the person. Afro-Cuban endorcism, on the other hand, endorses the past, present, and future, as it accepts a simultaneity and multiplicity of 'influences'. No 'demon' is perceived, as in the case of Pentecostalism, no 'idolatry' is detected and, instead of conversion, what occurs is a cumulative incorporation of multiple initiations. Our approach, we argue, as also inspired by theories of 'radical participation' and 'symmetrisation', affords a useful vantage point to engage with fine ethnographic nuances of a proliferation of comparative symmetries in the study of religiosity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Compass
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Sep 2021


  • Afro-Cuban religion
  • Conversion
  • Exorcism
  • Guatemalan Pentecostalism
  • Symmetrical ethnography

Cite this