African american religion

Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice. Richard Bland College; date: The New World enslavement of diverse African peoples and the cultural encounter with Europeans and Native Americans produced distinctive religious perspectives that aided individuals and communities in persevering under the dehumanization of slavery and oppression.

African american religion

Du Bois's The Negro Church In addition to exemplifying the richness of the African American experience, black religion provides us with significant insights into the social condition of black people in U. Franklin Frazier argues that African American religion historically has functioned as a "refuge in a hostile white world.

Religion in Black America - Wikipedia

The development of African American religion, particularly during the twentieth century, took a multiplicity of interrelated streams, which makes it a variegated phenomenon that has only begun to be more fully explored in recent decades Nelsen et al.

Many scholars have debated the extent to which African American religion draws upon African religion in its diverse forms. Despite the presence of Africanisms in African American religion, such as the call-and-response pattern characteristic of black preaching, it is evident that no single African culture or religion could have been diffused intact to North America.

African religious concepts and rituals, such as ancestor worship, initiation rites, spirit possession, healing African american religion funeral rituals, magical rituals for obtaining spiritual power, and ecstatic ceremonies enlivened by rhythmic dancing, drumming, and singing, are found in African American religion but generally in syncretized ways, blended with diverse European American elements.

Prior to the American Revolution, very few slaves were Christian, other than in a nominal sense. Most planters initially were reluctant to foster the conversion of their slaves to Christianity because they feared that it might provide them with notions of equality and freedom.

Eventually, however, they became convinced that a selective interpretation of the Gospel would foster docility in their subjects. Indeed, as Eugene Genovese demonstrates in his application of Gramsci's notion of hegemony, the slave owner's paternalistic ideology relied heavily upon religious themes.

That the slaves internalized portions of their masters' ideology is manifested by their belief that Jesus Christ was a meek, humble, and compassionate figure with whom they could converse about their earthly tribulations.

A few exceptions aside, they did not picture Jesus as a messiah-king bearing a sword and mounted on a horse ready to lead them in battle against their oppressors. As a hegemonic system, paternalism encouraged the slaves to accept the slave masters as brothers in Christ.

Conversely, it is important to note that Christianity served as an inspiration in the three best known slave rebellions in U. | Black Religion Statistics

The Second Awakeningwith its camp meetings, attracted many slaves and free black people to evangelical Protestantism. The Methodists emerged as leaders in the development of religious instruction among slaves.

African american religion

Following its creation inthe Southern Baptist Convention also initiated missionary work among slaves. The Baptists in particular may have been able to make inroads among the slaves because baptism by immersion resembled initiation rites associated with West African cults.

The slaves worshiped in a wide variety of congregations, including with whites, with free blacks, exclusively by themselves, and in private.

Slave masters often took house slaves to religious services at white churches, where they were required to sit in separate galleries or in balconies.

Although white ministers presided over these services for slaves, the latter often chose instead to hold meetings in their quarters, in "praise houses" or "hush arbors," or even deep in the woods, swamps, and caverns.African American Religion in Early America.

By Cliff Odle. African slaves were stolen from their homelands, and often had very little in common with each other.

African american religion

The larger impact of this African American theological movement, rather, lay in producing a major shift in the intellectual study of black religion and culture as dozens of African American theologians began incorporating an engaged analysis of race, class, gender, and sexuality into the study of religion.

In addition to African religions, the Christianity that was practiced in the South had a strong influence on the development of African-American religion. Slave owners often took slaves to services, but they had to sit in a separate section.

In so doing, the study of African American religion at Rice involves synergy, a creative tension, between the standard areas of religious studies (e.g., theology and religious history) other humanistic disciplines, and the social sciences.

African American religious cultures were born in the crucible of American slavery, a system that not only ruptured direct connections to African history, culture, and religious community, but also set the context for the emergence of transformed and new religious systems.

17 rows · Afro-American religion (also known as African diasporic religions) are a number of related religions that developed in the Americas in various nations of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the southern United derive from traditional African religions with some influence from other religious traditions, notably Christianity.

Religion in Black America - Wikipedia