Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, USA, Oct 7, 2004 - History - 397 pages
1 Review
Twenty-five years after its original publication, Slave Religion remains a classic in the study of African American history and religion. In a new chapter in this anniversary edition, author Albert J. Raboteau reflects upon the origins of the book, the reactions to it over the past twenty-five years, and how he would write it differently today. Using a variety of first and second-hand sources-- some objective, some personal, all riveting-- Raboteau analyzes the transformation of the African religions into evangelical Christianity. He presents the narratives of the slaves themselves, as well as missionary reports, travel accounts, folklore, black autobiographies, and the journals of white observers to describe the day-to-day religious life in the slave communities. Slave Religion is a must-read for anyone wanting a full picture of this "invisible institution."

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South

User Review  - Seth Pierce - Goodreads

While providing an excellent overview of the religious practices of American slaves, I thought the author repeated himself a lot. I would have liked more emphasis on the folk religion of Africa and ... Read full review

Selected pages


The African Diaspora
Death of the Gods
Cathechesis and Conversion
The Rule of Gospel Order
Religious Life in the Slave Community
Religion Rebellion and Docility
Canaan Land

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Meanings of Life
Roy F. Baumeister
Limited preview - 1991
All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

Albert J. Raboteau is Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion at Princeton University and author of Canaan Land (OUP),A Fire in the Bones, and A Sorrowful Joy.

Bibliographic information