Plantation Church: How African American Religion Was Born in Caribbean Slavery

Paperback | January 21, 2014

byNoel Leo Erskine

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In Plantation Church, Noel Leo Erskine investigates the history of the Black Church as it developed both in the United States and the Caribbean after the arrival of enslaved Africans. Typically, when people talk about the "Black Church" they are referring to African-American churches in theU.S., but in fact, the majority of African slaves were brought to the Caribbean. It was there, Erskine argues, that the Black religious experience was born. The massive Afro-Caribbean population was able to establish a form of Christianity that preserved African Gods and practices, but fused themwith Christian teachings, resulting in religions such as Cuba's Santeria. Despite their common ancestry, the Black religious experience in the U.S. was markedly different because African Americans were a political and cultural minority. The Plantation Church became a place of solace and resistancethat provided its members with a sense of kinship, not only to each other but also to their ancestral past. Despite their common origins, the Caribbean and African American Church are almost never studied together. This book investigates the parallel histories of these two strands of the Black Church, showing where their historical ties remain strong and where different circumstances have led them downunexpectedly divergent paths. The result will be a work that illuminates the histories, theologies, politics, and practices of both branches of the Black Church.This project presses beyond the nation state framework and raises intercultural and interregional questions with implications for gender, race and class. Noel Leo Erskine employs a comparative method that opens up the possibility of rethinking the language and grammar of how Black churches have beenunderstood in the Americas and extends the notion of church beyond the United States. The forging of a Black Christianity from sources African and European, allows for an examination of the meaning of church when people of African descent are culturally and politically in the majority. Erskine alsoasks the pertinent question of what meaning the church holds when the converse is true: when African Americans are a cultural and political minority.

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In Plantation Church, Noel Leo Erskine investigates the history of the Black Church as it developed both in the United States and the Caribbean after the arrival of enslaved Africans. Typically, when people talk about the "Black Church" they are referring to African-American churches in theU.S., but in fact, the majority of African sla...

Noel Leo Erskine is Professor of Theology and Ethics at Candler School of Theology and the Laney Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Emory University. He has been a visiting Professor in ten schools in six countries. His books include King Among the Thologians (1995), and From Garvey to Marley (2007).

other books by Noel Leo Erskine

Black Theology And Pedagogy
Black Theology And Pedagogy

Hardcover|Jul 15 2008

$131.10 online$136.50list price
Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:January 21, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195369130

ISBN - 13:9780195369137

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: Remembering Ancestors1. Migration, Displacement, Resistance2. The Memory of Africa3. Black Church Experience South of the Border4. Plantation Church5. The Making of the Black World6. Towards A Creolized EcclesiologyBibliography