Ifa Divination, Knowledge, Power, and Performance

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This landmark volume compiled by Jacob K. Olupona and Rowland O. Abiodun brings readers into the diverse world of Ifa-its discourse, ways of thinking, and artistic expression as manifested throughout the Afro-Atlantic. Firmly rooting Ifa within African religious traditions, the essays consider Ifa and Ifa divination from the perspectives of philosophy, performance studies, and cultural studies. They also examine the sacred context, verbal art, and the interpretation of Ifa texts and philosophy. With essays from the most respected scholars in the field, the book makes a substantial contribution toward understanding Ifa and its role in contemporary Yoruba and diaspora cultures.show more

Product details

  • Book | 390 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.4mm | 31g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 025301882X
  • 9780253018823

Review quote

"Edited by two distinguished exponents of African religions, this is a formidable book that will stand the test of time by all conventional standards of evaluation given its cogency, in-depth research methodologies, variety of sophisticated interdisciplinary approaches, and scholarly interrogations." -Niyi Afolabi, University of Texas at Austin "Will add substantially to our knowledge of one of the world's most extraordinary bodies of texts and ritual practices." -John Picton, University of London "Ifa Divination, Knowledge, Power, and Performance provides an invaluable glimpse into the richness of indigenous African spiritualities, even when they are transmitted into new geo-cultural environments as African-derived religiosities... This book is a must read." -Reading Religionshow more

About Professor of African and African American Studies Professor of African Religious Studies Jacob K Olupona

Jacob K. Olupona is Professor of African Religious Traditions at Harvard Divinity School and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is author of City of 201 Gods: Ile-Ife in Time, Space, and the Imagination and editor of Orisa Devotion as World Religion: The Globalization of Yoruba Religious Culture.Rowland O. Abiodun is John C. Newton Professor of Art, the History of Art, and Black Studies at Amherst College. He is author of Yoruba Art and Language: Seeking the African in African Art and What Follows Six is More than Seven: Understanding African Art.show more

Table of contents

Foreword / His Royal Highness Oba Okunade Sijuade Olubuse IIPreface / Jacob K. Olupona and Rowland O. AbiodunIntroduction / Jacob K. Olupona and Rowland O. Abiodun with Niyi AfolabiPart I. Ifa Orature: Its Interpretation and Translation1. Ayajo as Ifa in Mythical and Sacred Contexts / Ayo Opefeyitimi2. Continuity and Change in the Verbal, Artistic, Ritualistic, and Performance Traditions of Ifa Divination / Wande Abimbola3. Recasting Ifa: Historicity and Recursive Recollection in Ifa Divination Texts / Andrew Apter4. Ifa, Knowledge, Performance, the Sacred, and the Medium / Olasope O. Oyelaran5. "Writing" and "Reference" in Ifa / AdeileikeI AdeieIokooiPart II. Ifa as Knowledge: Theoretical Questions and Concerns6. Ifa: Sixteen Odu, Sixteen Questions / Barry Hallen7. Kin N'Ifa Wi?: Philosophical Issues in Ifa Divination / Olufeiomi Taiwo8. Diviner as Explorer: The Afuwape Paradigm / Rowland O. Abiodun9. "The Hunter Thinks the Monkey Is Not Wise. The Monkey Is Wise, But Has Its Own Logic": Multiple Divination Systems and Multiple Knowledge Systems in Yoruba Religious Life / Mei-Mei Sanford10. Dagbon, Oyo, Kongo: Critical and Comparative Reflections on Sacrifice / Wyatt MacGaffey11. Ifa: The Quintessential Builder of Our Bank of Images / Akinwumi Isola12. Odu Imole: Islamic Tradition in Ifa and the Yoruba Religious Imagination / Jacob K. OluponaPart III. Ifa in the Afro-Atlantic13. Ifa Divination as Sacred Compass for Reading Self and World / Velma Love14. Itan Odu Oni: Tales of Strivers Today / John Mason15. Orunmila's Faithful Dog: Transmitting Sacred Knowledge in a Lucumi Orisha Tradition / Joseph M. Murphy16. Mofa and the Oba: Translation of Ifa Epistemology in the Afro-Cuban Dilogun / Ysamur M. Flores-Pena17. The Pai-de-santo and the Babalawo: Religious Interaction and Ritual Rearrangements within Orisha Religion / Stefania Capone18. The Role of Women in the Ifa Priesthoshow more