Alongside the story of Nana Oseijeman Adefunmi's development as an artist, religious leader, and founder of several African-influenced religio-cultural projects, Hucks weaves historical and sociological analyses of the relationship between black cultural nationalism and reinterpretations of the meaning of Africa from within the African American community.
Exploring the Yoruba tradition in the United States, Hucks begins with the story of Nana Oseijeman Adefunmi’s personal search for identity and meaning as a young man in Detroit in the 1930s and 1940s. She traces his development as an artist, religious leader, and founder of several African-influenced religio-cultural projects in Harlem and later in the South. Adefunmi was part of a generation of young migrants attracted to the bohemian lifestyle of New York City and the black nationalist fervor of Harlem. Cofounding Shango Temple in 1959, Yoruba Temple in 1960, and Oyotunji African Village in 1970, Adefunmi and other African Americans in that period renamed themselves “Yorubas” and engaged in the task of transforming Cuban Santer'a into a new religious expression that satisfied their racial and nationalist leanings and eventually helped to place African Americans on a global religious schema alongside other Yoruba practitioners in Africa and the diaspora. Alongside the story of Adefunmi, Hucks weaves historical and sociological analyses of the relationship between black cultural nationalism and reinterpretations of the meaning of Africa from within the African American community.
Uncovers the influence of Yoruba culture on women’s religious lives and leadership in religions practiced by Yoruba people Women in Yoruba Religions examines the profound influence of Yoruba culture in Yoruba religion, Christianity, Islam, and Afro-Diasporic religions such as Santeria and Candomblé, placing gender relations in historical and social contexts. While the coming of Christianity and Islam to Yorubaland has posed significant challenges to Yoruba gender relations by propagating patriarchal gender roles, the resources within Yoruba culture have enabled women to contest the full acceptance of those new norms. Oyeronke Olademo asserts that Yoruba women attain and wield agency in family and society through their economic and religious roles, and Yoruba operate within a system of gender balance, so that neither of the sexes can be subsumed in the other. Olademo utilizes historical and phenomenological methods, incorporating impressive data from interviews and participant-observation, showing how religion is at the core of Yoruba lived experiences and is intricately bound up in all sectors of daily life in Yorubaland and abroad in the diaspora.
Named an Honor Book for Nonfiction by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association African American theology has a long and important history. With modern roots in the civil rights movements of the 1960s, African American theology has gone beyond issues of justice and social transformation to participate in broader dialogues of theological inquiry. The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology brings together leading scholars in the field to offer a critical and comprehensive analysis of this theological tradition in its many forms and contexts. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this Oxford Handbook examines the nature, structures, and functions of African American Theology. The volume surveys the field by highlighting its sources, doctrines, internal debates, current challenges, and future prospects in order to present key topics related to the wider palette of Black Religion in a sustained scholarly format. This formative collection presents current scholarship on African American Theology and scripture, eschatology, Christology, womanist theology, sexuality, ontology, the global economy, and much more. The contributors represent a diverse set of faith perspectives, adding to the layered discourses within the volume. These essays further important discussions on the pressing debates and challenges that shape black and womanist theologies.
A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s open access publishing program for monographs. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more. The Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria are exceptional for the copresence among them of three religious traditions: Islam, Christianity, and the indigenous orisa religion. In this comparative study, at once historical and anthropological, Peel explores the intertwined character of the three religions and the dense imbrication of religion in all aspects of Yoruba history up to the present. For over 400 years, the Yoruba have straddled two geocultural spheres: one reaching north over the Sahara to the world of Islam, the other linking them to the Euro-American world via the Atlantic. These two external spheres were the source of contrasting cultural influences, notably those emanating from the world religions. However, the Yoruba not only imported Islam and Christianity but also exported their own orisa religion to the New World. Before the voluntary modern diaspora that has brought many Yoruba to Europe and the Americas, tens of thousands were sold as slaves in the New World, bringing with them the worship of the orisa. Peel offers deep insight into important contemporary themes such as religious conversion, new religious movements, relations between world religions, the conditions of religious violence, the transnational flows of contemporary religion, and the interplay between tradition and the demands of an ever-changing present. In the process, he makes a major theoretical contribution to the anthropology of world religions.
"African American Religion offers a provocative historical and philosophical treatment of the religious life of African Americans. Glaude argues that the phrase "African American religion" is meaningful only insofar as it singles out the distinctive waysreligion has been leveraged by African Americans to respond to different racial regimes in the United States. That bold claim frames how he reads the historical record. Slavery, Jim Crow, and current appeals to color blindness serve as a backdrop for histreatment of conjure, African American Christianity and Islam"--
Honorable Mention, Theology and Religious Studies PROSE Award A powerful insight into the historical and cultural roles of the black church If we are in a post-racial era, then what is the future of the Black Church? If the US will at some time in the future be free from discrimination and prejudices that are based on race how will that affect the church’s very identity? In The Ground Has Shifted, Walter Earl Fluker passionately and thoroughly discusses the historical and current role of the black church and argues that the older race-based language and metaphors of religious discourse have outlived their utility. He offers instead a larger, global vision for the black church that focuses on young black men and other disenfranchised groups who have been left behind in a world of globalized capital. Lyrically written with an emphasis on the dynamic and fluid movement of life itself, Fluker argues that the church must find new ways to use race as an emancipatory instrument if it is to remain central in black life, and he points the way for a new generation of church leaders, scholars and activists to reclaim the black church’s historical identity and to turn to the task of infusing character, civility, and a sense of community among its congregants.
Black Atlantic Religion illuminates the mutual transformation of African and African-American cultures, highlighting the example of the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé religion. This book contests both the recent conviction that transnationalism is new and the long-held supposition that African culture endures in the Americas only among the poorest and most isolated of black populations. In fact, African culture in the Americas has most flourished among the urban and the prosperous, who, through travel, commerce, and literacy, were well exposed to other cultures. Their embrace of African religion is less a "survival," or inert residue of the African past, than a strategic choice in their circum-Atlantic, multicultural world. With counterparts in Nigeria, the Benin Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Trinidad, and the United States, Candomblé is a religion of spirit possession, dance, healing, and blood sacrifice. Most surprising to those who imagine Candomblé and other such religions as the products of anonymous folk memory is the fact that some of this religion's towering leaders and priests have been either well-traveled writers or merchants, whose stake in African-inspired religion was as much commercial as spiritual. Morever, they influenced Africa as much as Brazil. Thus, for centuries, Candomblé and its counterparts have stood at the crux of enormous transnational forces. Vividly combining history and ethnography, Matory spotlights a so-called "folk" religion defined not by its closure or internal homogeneity but by the diversity of its connections to classes and places often far away. Black Atlantic Religion sets a new standard for the study of transnationalism in its subaltern and often ancient manifestations.
A new vocabulary for African American Studies As the longest-standing interdisciplinary field, African American Studies has laid the foundation for critically analyzing issues of race, ethnicity, and culture within the academy and beyond. This volume assembles the keywords of this field for the first time, exploring not only the history of those categories but their continued relevance in the contemporary moment. Taking up a vast array of issues such as slavery, colonialism, prison expansion, sexuality, gender, feminism, war, and popular culture, Keywords for African American Studies showcases the startling breadth that characterizes the field. Featuring an august group of contributors across the social sciences and the humanities, the keywords assembled within the pages of this volume exemplify the depth and range of scholarly inquiry into Black life in the United States. Connecting lineages of Black knowledge production to contemporary considerations of race, gender, class, and sexuality, Keywords for African American Studies provides a model for how the scholarship of the field can meet the challenges of our social world.
In Spiritual Citizenship N. Fadeke Castor employs the titular concept to illuminate how Ifá/Orisha practices informed by Yoruba cosmology shape local, national, and transnational belonging in African diasporic communities in Trinidad and beyond. Drawing on almost two decades of fieldwork in Trinidad, Castor outlines how the political activism and social upheaval of the 1970s set the stage for African diasporic religions to enter mainstream Trinidadian society. She establishes how the postcolonial performance of Ifá/Orisha practices in Trinidad fosters a sense of belonging that invigorates its practitioners to work toward freedom, equality, and social justice. Demonstrating how spirituality is inextricable from the political project of black liberation, Castor illustrates the ways in which Ifá/Orisha beliefs and practices offer Trinidadians the means to strengthen belonging throughout the diaspora, access past generations, heal historical wounds, and envision a decolonial future.