Women and New and Africana Religions

Women and New and Africana Religions

Women and New and Africana Religions

Women and New and Africana Religions

Synopsis

This volume explores the lives of women around the world from the perspective of the New and Africana faiths they practice.

• Includes 14 essays from 17 contributors, all distinguished in their careers as both observer participants and research scholars

• Offers bibliographies and notes for each essay and a comprehensive bibliography concluding the book

Excerpt

This volume provides insight into the experiences of contemporary women in New Religions and Africana Religions selected from diverse parts of the world. the Africana Religions are categorized as Creole and African Indigenous—the latter of which sometimes is used interchangeably with African Traditional Religions. the five-part thematic organization of the chapters in this volume places the New, Creole, and African Indigenous Religions in a context of religious and cultural diversity that might have been lost had we incorporated them into a volume of more mainstream religions. Unless one had the opportunity to read all of the volumes in this series, the variety and number of New and Africana systems of belief, theology, practice, and ritual might not be accessible or appreciated. Thus, a volume dedicated to New and Africana Religions seems fitting for our purpose of increasing awareness of women and religious diversity. Consequently, we give space and voice to these religions and, in particular, to the women who affirm them.

Some of these traditions developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and so can be clearly categorized as falling within the New Religions Movement. Others, particularly the Creole Religions, are actually syncretized versions from older African Indigenous and other systems; some of these religions date back as far as the sixteenth century. We include these because their emergence has brought something new to the American cultural contexts in which they were formed. the African Indigenous Religions emerged with the autochthenes—the cultural self-starters in Africa—and . . .

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