Black Atlantic Religion: Tradition, Transnationalism, and Matriarchy in the Afro-Brazilian Candomble (Google eBook)

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Princeton University Press, Feb 9, 2009 - Social Science - 392 pages
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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.

  

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Contents

The English Professors of Brazil On the Diasporic Roots of the Yorùbá Nation
38
The TransAtlantic Nation Rethinking Nations and Transnationalism
73
Purity and Transnationalism On the Transformation of Ritual in the YorùbáAtlantic Diaspora
115
Candomblés Newest Nation Brazil
149
Para Inglês Ver Sex Secrecy and Scholarship in the YorùbáAtlantic World
188
Man in the City of Women
224
Conclusion The AfroAtlantic Dialogue
267
Geechees and Gullahs The Locus Classicus of African Survivals in the United States
295
The Origins of the Term Jeje
299
Notes
301
Bibliography
343
Index
369
Untitled
377
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

J. Lorand Matory is the Lawrence Richardson Professor of Cultural Anthropology and director of the Center for African and American Research at Duke University. He is the author of two award-winning books, "Sex and the Empire That Is No More" and "Black Atlantic Religion".

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