Divining the Self: A Study in Yoruba Myth and Human Consciousness

Paperback | October 25, 2012

byVelma E. Love

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Divining the Self weaves elements of personal narrative, myth, history, and interpretive analysis into a vibrant tapestry that reflects the textured, embodied, and performative nature of scripture and scripturalizing practices. Velma Love examines the Odu—the Yoruba sacred scriptures—along with the accompanying mythology, philosophy, and ritual technologies engaged by African Americans. Drawing from the personal narratives of African American Ifa practitioners along with additional ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Oyotunji African Village, South Carolina, and New York City, Love’s work explores the ways in which an ancient worldview survives in modern times.

Divining the Self also takes up the challenge of determining what it means for the scholar of religion to study scripture as both text and performance. This work provides an excellent case study of the sociocultural phenomenon of scripturalizing practices.

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Divining the Self weaves elements of personal narrative, myth, history, and interpretive analysis into a vibrant tapestry that reflects the textured, embodied, and performative nature of scripture and scripturalizing practices. Velma Love examines the Odu—the Yoruba sacred scriptures—along with the accompanying mythology, philosophy, a...

Velma E. Love is Project Director of the Howard University School of Divinity's National Study of Black Congregational Life.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.37 inPublished:October 25, 2012Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271054069

ISBN - 13:9780271054063

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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 Mythic Origins and Cultural Practices

2 Orisha Archetypes, Cultural Memory, and the Odu

3 Divining the Self

4 Symbols and Signposts for the Journey

5 Powers of the Mothers

6 Oshun, Yemonja, and Oya

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“This historical context for researchers of contemporary Ifa/Orisha tradition in the United States remains vital, as well as being simply enjoyable reading for practitioners of Yoruba religion.”

—Daniel Foor, Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies