rş Devotion as World Religion: The Globalization of Yorb Religious Culture

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Jacob Kẹhinde Olupona, Terry Rey
Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2008 - History - 609 pages
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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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Contents

Yoruba Religious Culture in Africa
31
Who Was the First to Speak? Insights from Ifa Orature
51
In What Tongue?
70
A Prolegomenon to a Philosophy
84
Associated PlaceNames and Sacred Icons
106
Yoruba Religious and Cultural
128
Precolonial History of the Lagos Region
164
The Pathways of Qsun as Cultural Synergy
191
Santeria in the Twentyfirst Century
355
An Integrating Mythological Worldview
372
Brazils Sacred Music
400
Yoruba Sacred Songs in the New World
416
Rethinking the Transmission
448
Orisa Traditions and the Internet Diaspora
470
Gender Politics and Hybridism in
485
Is There Gender in Yoruba Culture?
513

Yoruba Moral Epistemology as the Basis for
222
Yoruba Religious Culture beyond Africa
233
Globalization and the Evolution of Haitian Vodou
263
Historicizing Ifa Culture in Qyptunji African Village
278
Divinatory
286
The Dynamic Influence of Cubans Puerto Ricans
320
Postscript
559
Glossary
573
Contributors
581
Index
589
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Jacob K. Olupona is professor of African religious traditions at Harvard Divinity School and professor of African and African American studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. He is the author and editor of many books, including African Spirituality, Beyond Primitivism, and African Traditional Religions in Contemporary Society. Terry Rey is associate professor of religion at Temple University. He is the author of Our Lady of Class Struggle: The Cult of the Virgin Mary in Haiti and Bourdieu on Religion.

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