Òrìşà Devotion as World Religion: The Globalization of Yorùbá Religious Culture
Jacob Kẹhinde Olupona, Terry Rey
Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2008 - History - 609 pages
As the twenty-first century begins, tens of millions of people participate in devotions to the spirits called r s . This book explores the emergence of r s devotion as a world religion, one of the most remarkable and compelling developments in the history of the human religious quest. Originating among the Yor b people of West Africa, the varied traditions that comprise r s devotion are today found in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Australia.
The African spirit proved remarkably resilient in the face of the transatlantic slave trade, inspiring the perseverance of African religion wherever its adherents settled in the New World. Among the most significant manifestations of this spirit, Yor b religious culture persisted, adapted, and even flourished in the Americas, especially in Brazil and Cuba, where it thrives as Candombl and Lukumi/Santer a, respectively. After the end of slavery in the Americas, the free migrations of Latin American and African practitioners has further spread the religion to places like New York City and Miami. Thousands of African Americans have turned to the religion of their ancestors, as have many other spiritual seekers who are not themselves of African descent.
If divination in Nigeria, Candombl funerary chants in Brazil, the role of music in Yor b revivalism in the United States, gender and representational authority in Yor b religious culture--these are among the many subjects discussed here by experts from around the world. Approaching r s devotion from diverse vantage points, their collective effort makes this one of the most authoritative texts on Yor b religion and a groundbreaking book that heralds this rich, complex, and variegated tradition as one of the world's great religions.
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