Paul Christopher Johnson is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He has published many articles on Brazil, the Caribbean, and American popular culture, exploring the relation of religion to social identity, memory, and practice.
"A reader interested in learning about Candomble would be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive yet deftly written introduction to the religion and to the intellectual debates that surround it.... Secrets, Gossip and Gods is an ambitious, rich book that succeeds on many levels; it is a good read, to boot. There is little doubt that it will become a point of reference in the field."--History of Religions "Highly recommended"--American Journal of Sociology "In this elegantly written and theoretically sophisticated book, Paul Johnson has made an important contribution to the scholarly discussion not only of Candomble, but of the relationship between religion and Brazilian society-and, indeed, between religion and society in general." --John Burdick, Author of Blessed Anastacia: Women, Race, and Popular Christianity in Brazil "Johnson has achieved a masterful synthesis of fieldwork and theory, replacing the misleading notion of syncretism and its reified dualisms with the historically nuanced concept of 'secretism.' His book represents a breakthrough in studies of Brazilian Candomble because it relates local worlds and ritual networks to the rise of nationalism and the bourgeois public sphere." --Andrew Apter, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago