Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora

Paperback | October 1, 1996

byWalter F. PittsForeword byVincent L. Wimbush

not yet rated|write a review
This book retraces the African origins of African-American forms of worship. During a five-year period in the field, Pitts played the piano at and recorded numerous worship services in black Baptist churches throughout rural Texas. His historical comparisons and linguistic analyses of thismaterial uncover striking parallels between "Afro-Baptist" services and the religious rituals of Western and Central Africa, as well as other African-derived rituals in the United States Sea Islands, the Caribbean, and Brazil. Pitts demonstrates that African and African-American worship share anunderlying binary ritual frame: the somber melancholy of the first frame and the high emotion of the second frame. Pitts's revealing perspective on this often misunderstood aspect of African-American religion provides an investigative model for the study of diaspora cultural practices and theresidual influence of their African sources.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$73.95

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From Our Editors

"'I love the Lord, He heard my cry, ' Deacon cries out as the newly gathered congregation, now seated in their pews, echoes his words in a plaintive tune". Thus begins the Devotional at St. John Progressive Baptist Church, one of many Afro-Baptist services that Walter Pitts observed in the dual role of anthropologist and church pianist...

From the Publisher

This book retraces the African origins of African-American forms of worship. During a five-year period in the field, Pitts played the piano at and recorded numerous worship services in black Baptist churches throughout rural Texas. His historical comparisons and linguistic analyses of thismaterial uncover striking parallels between "Af...

Walter F. Pitts is a former Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Louisiana State University.

other books by Walter F. Pitts

Trouble's Child
Trouble's Child

Kobo ebook|Jan 19 2016

$9.29 online$11.99list price(save 22%)
Because We Are
Because We Are

Kobo ebook|Jan 19 2016

$9.29 online$11.99list price(save 22%)
The Girl on the Outside
The Girl on the Outside

Kobo ebook|Jan 19 2016

$7.69 online$9.99list price(save 23%)
see all books by Walter F. Pitts
Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 8.27 × 5.51 × 0.67 inPublished:October 1, 1996Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195111451

ISBN - 13:9780195111453

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora

Reviews

Extra Content

From Our Editors

"'I love the Lord, He heard my cry, ' Deacon cries out as the newly gathered congregation, now seated in their pews, echoes his words in a plaintive tune". Thus begins the Devotional at St. John Progressive Baptist Church, one of many Afro-Baptist services that Walter Pitts observed in the dual role of anthropologist and church pianist. Based on extensive fieldwork in black Baptist churches in rural Texas, this is a major new study of the African origins of African-American forms of worship. Over a period of five years, Pitts, a scholar of anthropology and linguistics, played the piano at and recorded numerous worship services. Offering an extensive history of Afro-Baptist religion in the American South, he compares the ritual structures he observed with those of traditional African worship and other religious rituals of African origin in the New World. Through these historical comparisons, coupled with sociolinguistic analysis, Pitts uncovers striking parallels between Afro-Baptist services and the rituals of Western and Central Africa, as well as African-derived

Editorial Reviews

"Walter Pitts has written a remarkable study that blazes a trail in the area of black religion.... this book reveals extraordinary depth of knowledge and an astonishing ablility to draw forth new insights into the traditional elements of African religion both at home and in the diaspora."--TheJournal of American History