Black Religion And Aesthetics: Religious Thought and Life in Africa and the African Diaspora

Hardcover | June 15, 2009

byAnthony B. Pinn

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A great deal of attention has been given to the sociopolitical and theological importance of Black Religion. However, of less academic concern up to this point is the aesthetic qualities that define much of what is said and done within the context of Black Religion. Recognizing the centrality of the black body for black religious thought and life, this book proposes a conversation concerning various dimensions of the aesthetic considerations and qualities of Black Religion as found in various parts of the world, including the the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe.  In this respect, Black Religion is simply meant to connote the religious orientations and arrangements of people of African descent across the globe.

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A great deal of attention has been given to the sociopolitical and theological importance of Black Religion. However, of less academic concern up to this point is the aesthetic qualities that define much of what is said and done within the context of Black Religion. Recognizing the centrality of the black body for black religious thoug...

Anthony Pinn is Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University, Texas.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 8.3 × 5.72 × 0.68 inPublished:June 15, 2009Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230605508

ISBN - 13:9780230605503

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Table of Contents

Introduction * PART I: NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA * Anthony B. Pinn, A Beautiful Be-ing: Religious Humanism and the Aesthetics of a New Salvation * Nancy Lynne Westfield, The Foolish Woman Grows Angry Because They Teach Her: Influences of Sexism in Black Church Worship * Lindsay Hale, Spiritual Matters:  The Aesthetics of Ritual Substances in Umbanda * Carol B. Duncan, From Hattie to Halle:  Black Female Bodies and Spectatorship as Ritual in Hollywood Cinema * PART TWO: THE CARIBBEAN * Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, Giving Form to les invisibles: Spirits and Rituals in Haitian Painting * Miguel De La Torre, Dancing with Ochún:  Imagining How a Black Goddess Became White * PART THREE: EUROPE * Robert Beckford, Black Suit Matters:  Identity, Spirituality and Representation in the British Religious Documentary * Anthony Reddie, A Dialectical Spirituality of Improvisation: The Ambiguity of Black Engagements with Sacred Texts * PART FOUR:  AFRICA * Linda E. Thomas, The Aesthetic Dimensions of Religion in South Africa:  Africa Initiated Churches Considered * Elias K. Bongmba, Aesthetics in Africa Art:  Implications for African Theology

Editorial Reviews

“This is a rare book in Africana studies. Its writers nicely demonstrate how African peoples sought both liberation and salvation through the development of new aesthetic and artistic forms that rendered black bodies beautiful in spite of the countless brutal attacks perpetrated on them. Undoubtedly, this book will spark many additional studies along similar lines.”--Peter J. Paris, Elmer G. Homrighausen Professor of Christian Social Ethics, Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary"Pinn has once again challenged us to expand our understanding of the complexity of Black Religion. In these wide-ranging essays, we find a ground-breaking exploration of its aesthetic qualities, qualities that play an integral role in the power of Black Religion in the lives of individuals, and in its political and cultural impact...These essays invite scholars of religion to expand our frame of reference, just as they expose students to the complexity of religious life. This is a generative text, one likely to spark creative dialogue about religion across disciplines, as well as evoking new attention among scholars to the aesthetic dimensions of black religious thought and life. It is both timely and likely to have long-lasting impact." Sharon D. Welch, Provost and Professor of Theology, Meadville Lombard Theological School.