Black Atlantic Religion illuminates the mutual transformation of African and African-American cultures, highlighting the example of the Afro-Brazilian Candomble 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, Candomble is a religion of spirit possession, dance, healing, and blood sacrifice. Most surprising to those who imagine Candomble 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, Candomble 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.
Winner of the 2006 Melville J. Herskovits Award, African Studies Association "Readers with an interest in Afro-diasporan studies and the historical development of 'creole' or 'hybrid' cultures, as well as those attentive to contemporary debates about modernity, nationalism, and globalization, will find here a provocative reflection on Black Atlantic culture."--Kelly E. Hayes, History of Religions
|List of Illustrations||p. vii|
|The English Professors of Brazil On the Diasporic Roots of the Yoruba Nation||p. 38|
|The Trans-Atlantic Nation Rethinking Nations and Transnationalism||p. 73|
|Purity and Transnationalism On the Transformation of Ritual in the Yoruba-Atlantic Diaspora||p. 115|
|Candomble's Newest Nation: Brazil||p. 149|
|Para Ingles Ver Sex, Secrecy, and Scholarship in the Yoruba-Atlantic World||p. 188|
|Man in the "City of Women"||p. 224|
|Conclusion: The Afro-Atlantic Dialogue||p. 267|
|Geechees and Gullahs The Locus Classicus of African "Survivals" in the United States||p. 295|
|The Origins of the Term "Jeje"||p. 299|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 25th July 2005
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.11 x 15.49 x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.57