Encyclopedia of African Religion

Encyclopedia of African Religion

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As the first comprehensive work to assemble ideas, concepts, discourses, and extensive essays in this vital area, the Encyclopedia of African Religion explores such topics as deities and divinities, the nature of humanity, the end of life, the conquest of fear, and the quest for attainment of harmony with nature and other humans. Editors Molefi Kete Asante and Ama Mazama include nearly 500 entries that seek to rediscover the original beauty and majesty of African religion. Features include: it helps readers grasp the enormity of Africa's contribution to religious ideas by presenting richly textured concepts of spirituality, ritual, and initiation while simultaneously advancing new theological categories, cosmological narratives, and ways to conceptualize ethical behavior it provides readers with new metaphors, figures of speech, modes of reasoning, etymologies, analogies, and cosmogonies it reveals the complexity, texture, and rhythms of the African religious tradition to provide scholars with a baseline for future works.

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  • Hardback | 920 pages
  • 223.52 x 287.02 x 63.5mm | 2,902.98g
  • SAGE Publications Inc
  • Thousand OaksUnited States
  • English
  • ill
  • 1412936365
  • 9781412936361

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Author Information

Molefi Asante is a distinguished scholar and is best known for creating the discipline of Black Studies over 25 years ago. He is the Editor for the Journal of Black Studies (Sage) and the Encyclopedia of Black Studies (Sage Reference, 12/04 933 units, $82k LTD). His recent research has centered on the history and present developments of African religions. Mazama is an Associate Professor of African American Studies with a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne, five books and more than fifty articles. She is the co-editor o the Encyclopedia of Black Studies. Her forthcoming book will be on the Vodun religion in Haiti.

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Review quote

"This volume is significantly more comprehensive than the relevant sections of S. Glazier's Encyclopedia of African and African-American Religions (Routledge, 2001). Articles range from broad essays such as "Creation," "Rites of Passage," and "Circumcision" to shorter entries on topics such as the Pocomania religion, sangoma (a type of Zulu healer), and the Yoruba deity Ifa. There are numerous articles on the religious traditions of specific groups, as well as articles on important individuals. The religious traditions of the African diaspora, such as Santeria and Vodou, are also covered. The information is generally accurate and clear. A short bibliography follows each of the signed articles, as do cross-references, though sometimes these are inadequate. A reader's guide lists the articles by type, and the helpful appendix lists the names of God used among different groups. Full access will be impeded by the author's occasional use of the African form of Egyptian gods' names, rather than the more familiar Greek forms. For example, there is no reference to Osiris, who appears here under the name Ausar, and although there is an article titled "Thoth," his name in other articles becomes Tehuti, with no explanation. The black-and-white illustrations are sporadic, but adequate. Overall, because of its singular focus, reliability, and scope, this encyclopedia will prove invaluable where there is considerable interest in Africa or in different religious traditions." -Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City -- Sue Giffard Library Journal

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