Title: Santo Daime; betekenis en aantrekkingskracht van een ayahuasca-religie

This book is a revised version of the authors’ MA Thesis at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, for which the author has traveled to Florianópolis (Brazil). This multi-sited research makes a cross-cultural connection between the Santo Daime religion in Brazil and in The Netherlands. The research is also quite unique in the sense that it’s merely based upon literature and interviews, the researcher herself didn’t participate in the rituals. By this means, the book offers an outsiders’ view, written in a way that’s accessible for everyone to read and simultaneously giving a voice to the participants. It gives a complete and detailed description of the Santo Daime religion: the organisation, the rituals and the drinking of the Daime (ayahuasca). The main question of this work is: “What’s the meaning and power of attraction of the Santo Daime religion for the participants and how can it be explained that it has spread all over the world in less than a century”? The aim of this research is to show the difference between the profane and sacred use of psychoactive plants, emphasizing the benefits of the latter one and the importance of legalizing this and other spiritual currents. It also talks about the need for protecting the Amazon forest, whose plants and people possess a treasure of knowledge, which is slowly getting lost. According to the author, here lies a task for the new generation of academic research: to reunite science and religion.

Reference: Wuyts, J. (2009) Santo Daime; betekenis en aantrekkingskracht van een ayahuasca-religie. Published by the author. ISBN 978-90-8759-058-1.

Jazmin Wuyts was born in Italy in 1984 and lived in Argentina, Peru, as well as in The Netherlands. Being raised within two cultures, she decided to study Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at the University of Leiden in The Netherlands in 2002. During her study her focus was mostly on the anthropological basis for religion and spirituality.  “Why do people believe?” was the title of one of her papers. For her MA Thesis she traveled in 2007 to Florianópolis, Brazil, and studied the Santo Daime religion. She interviewed people both in Brazil and in The Netherlands, trying to grasp the religious experience and identity of the participants. In 2010 she published her MA Thesis as a book, titled: “Santo Daime; meaning and  power of attraction of an ayahuasca-religion” (original Dutch title: “Santo Daime; betekenis en aantrekkingskracht van een ayahuasca-religie”). Currently she’s studying dance and body awareness, with the aim of linking anthropology and dance.

Contact: jaziluz@hotmail.com

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