African American Religions, 1500–2000: Colonialism, Democracy, and Freedom

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 6, 2015 - History
This book provides a narrative historical, postcolonial account of African American religions. It examines the intersection of Black religion and colonialism over several centuries to explain the relationship between empire and democratic freedom. Rather than treating freedom and its others (colonialism, slavery and racism) as opposites, Sylvester A. Johnson interprets multiple periods of Black religious history to discern how Atlantic empires (particularly that of the United States) simultaneously enabled the emergence of particular forms of religious experience and freedom movements as well as disturbing patterns of violent domination. Johnson explains theories of matter and spirit that shaped early indigenous religious movements in Africa, Black political religion responding to the American racial state, the creation of Liberia, and FBI repression of Black religious movements in the twentieth century. By combining historical methods with theoretical analysis, Johnson explains the seeming contradictions that have shaped Black religions in the modern era.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Black Atlantic Religion and AfroEuropean Commerce
13
On Religious Matters
56
Colonial Governance and Religious Subjectivity
107
Stateless Bodies African Missions and the Black Christian
159
Black Political Theology White Redemption and Soldiers
209
Garveyism Anticolonialism and State Repression
273
Fundamentalism Counterintelligence and
325
Black Religion the Security State and
377
Black Religion Freedom and Colonialism
401
Selected Bibliography
407
Index
419
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Sylvester A. Johnson is Associate Professor of African American Studies and Religious Studies at Northwestern University, Illinois. He is a founding co-editor of the Journal of Africana Religions, the only English-language peer-reviewed journal devoted to publishing research on religions in African and throughout the Black diaspora.

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