African Religions: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | March 17, 2014

byJacob K. Olupona

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What are African religions? African Religions: A Very Short Introduction answers this question by examining primarily indigenous religious traditions on the African continent. It focuses on the diversity of people, ethnic groups, languages, cultures, ethos, and worldviews, keeping in mind thecontinent's regional diversity. Using a multidisciplinary methodological approach, Olupona examines a wide range of African religious traditions on their own terms as well as in their pluralistic social, cultural, and political contexts. Cultural and postcolonial interpretive frameworks benefit thediscussion. For example, the book moves beyond ethnographic descriptions and interpretations of core beliefs and practices to look at how African religion has engaged issues of socioeconomic development and power relations. Sources for this book include archaeological and historical references. Additionally, Olupona uses ethnographic materials based on fieldwork collected through interviews and participant observation, along with archival materials, including missionary records, which describe African religiouspractices. Though the emphasis is on native faith traditions, these are not static traditions. African religions have responded to changes within their local communities and to fluxes caused by outside influences.About the Series:Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects - from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series providestrenchant and provocative - yet always balanced and complete - discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society.Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series hasa handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

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What are African religions? African Religions: A Very Short Introduction answers this question by examining primarily indigenous religious traditions on the African continent. It focuses on the diversity of people, ethnic groups, languages, cultures, ethos, and worldviews, keeping in mind thecontinent's regional diversity. Using a mult...

Jacob K. Olupona is Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and Professor of African Religious Studies at Harvard Divinity School.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 6.88 × 4.38 × 0.68 inPublished:March 17, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199790582

ISBN - 13:9780199790586

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Table of Contents

List of illustrationsPreface1. Worldview, cosmology, and myths of origin2. Gods, ancestors, and spirit beings3. Sacred authority: Divine kingship, priests, and diviners4. Ceremonies, festivals, and rituals5. Sacred Arts, verbal and ritual performances6. Encounter with the incoming world: Christianity and Islam in AfricaReferencesFurther readingIndex