Fragments of Bone: Neo-African Religions in a New World

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9780252072055: Fragments of Bone: Neo-African Religions in a New World

The bones of Pierre Toussaint, the first proposed African-American Catholic saint, were disinterred and spread around in the New World. In his introduction, Patrick Bellegarde-Smith suggests the same is true of the religious practices that peoples of African descent and victims of the Atlantic slave trade brought with them. Fragments of Bone examines the evolution of these religions as they have been adapted and re-contextualized in various New World environments. The essays in Fragments of Bone discuss African religions as forms of resistance and survival in the face of Western cultural hegemony and imperialism. The collection is unique in presenting the voices of scholars primarily outside of the Western tradition, speaking on the issues they, as practitioners, regard as important. Bellegarde-Smith, himself a priest in the Haitian Vodou religion, brings together thirteen contributors from different disciplines, genders, and nationalities. The authors address the creolized African religions beginning with their evolution from Nigeria and Benin to New Orleans, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil, and Guyana. The more familiar neo-African religions of Vodou and Santeria are also discussed,

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Book Description:

Fragments of Bone discusses African religions as forms of resistance and survival in the face of Western cultural hegemony and imperialism. The collection is unique in presenting the voices of scholars primarily outside of the Western tradition, speaking on the issues they regard as important. Bellegarde-Smith, himself a priest in the Haitian Vodou religion, brings together thirteen contributors from different disciplines, genders, and nationalities.  Fragments of Bone draws on an impressive range of sources including research, fieldwork, personal interviews, and spiritual introspection to support the  provocative thesis that the fragments of the ancestral traditions are fluidly interwoven in the New World African religions as creolized rituals, symbolic systems, and cultural identities.

About the Author:

Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, professor of Africology at the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, is the author of Haiti: The Breached Citadel and other books.

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