Download Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring by Yvonne P. Chireau PDF

By Yvonne P. Chireau

Black Magic seems on the origins, which means, and makes use of of Conjure--the African American culture of therapeutic and harming that developed from African, eu, and American elements--from the slavery interval to good into the 20 th century. Illuminating an international that's dimly understood by way of either students and most people, Yvonne P. Chireau describes Conjure and different similar traditions, similar to Hoodoo and Rootworking, in a superbly written, richly certain background that offers the voices and reviews of African americans and indicates how magic has proficient their tradition. concentrating on the connection among Conjure and Christianity, Chireau indicates how those probably contradictory traditions have labored jointly in a posh and complementary style to supply religious empowerment for African americans, either slave and unfastened, residing in white the USA. As she explores the function of Conjure for African american citizens and appears on the alterations of Conjure over the years, Chireau additionally rewrites the dichotomy among magic and faith. With its groundbreaking research of a regularly misunderstood culture, this publication provides a huge standpoint to our realizing of the myriad dimensions of human spirituality.

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Extra resources for Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition

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Many African people of the past, as now, drew few distinctions between the substance of their beliefs and the other aspects of the world in which they participated. A spiritual reality governed human life, within belief systems that were not elaborated as philosophical or speculative knowledge but rather enfolded ways of being and living. Africans arriving in the West during the period of the slave trade would have subscribed to a view of the universe with no divisions between sacred and profane.

35 36 “Africa Was a Land a’ Magic Power" a wildly dangerous struggle for control over nature. It was an ancient conflict, one in which both Africans and Europeans had engaged for centuries and addressed in various theological debates and formulations. Who governed the forces that could endanger and destroy life or preserve it? For Equiano and this band of helpless travelers, fate rested either with the benevolence of the Christian God, or in the hands of a few shipboard witches, for both forces were real, and both were powerful.

Knows more about the signs that the Lord uses to reveal his laws than the folks of today,” recalled a ninetyone-year-old former slave. “Some of the folks laughs . . 35 For addressing specific conditions in one’s life, Conjure and Christianity offered contrasting possibilities. Although sharing images and symbolism with Christianity, Conjure could both support and challenge traditional religious ideas. Some African American specialists, for example, claimed membership in churches that tolerated their practice of acts of supernatural harming, if they were turned to positive ends.

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