By Donald H. Matthews

ISBN-10: 0195091043

ISBN-13: 9780195091045

ISBN-10: 0585308977

ISBN-13: 9780585308975

Donald Matthews affirms as soon as and for all of the African starting place of African-American spiritual perform. His research of the tools hired via historians, social scientists, and literary critics within the research of African-American faith and the Negro religious leads him to advance a technique that encompasses modern scholarship with out compromising the integrity of African-American faith and tradition. as the Negro non secular is the earliest extant physique of African-American people non secular narration, Matthews believes that it holds the foremost to figuring out African-American faith. He explores the works of such seminal black students as W. E. B. DuBois, Melville Herskovits, and Zora Neale Hurston, tracing the early improvement of the African-centered method of the translation of African-American faith. This process includes ''cultural/structuralism'', the author's time period for the strategy utilized by DuBois, Herskovits, and Hurston that emphasizes the thick examining of narrative expressions. this sort of examining permits the student to spot the cultural value of specific oral and written texts and serves as some degree of id and a cultural hyperlink among African and African-American faith. Matthews' shut research of the religious employs a dialectical and postmodernist interpreting and divulges a spiritual philosophy that addresses the private matters and needs of Africans in the United States. those issues are cultural, political, and mental, yet are eventually relating to African non secular constructions of which means. This ebook poses a problem to finish the conflict among Afrocentrists and multiculturalists by way of acknowledging their universal highbrow history within the works of DuBois, Herskovits, and Hurston. it will likely be of significant curiosity to scholars and students of African-American faith and tradition and people drawn to Afrocentric literature.

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Additional resources for Honoring the Ancestors: An African Cultural Interpretation of Black Religion and Literature

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This silencing and contradictory nature of America's view of African religion has severely limited black Christians' ability to develop a healthy respect for their African cultural traditions. Most often, it has resulted in a silence full of theological possibility waiting to be filled. 12 This thesis has yet to be proven conclusively, but there is at least a trace of that desire to come to terms with a lost African homeland in the religious consciousness of black America. The spirituals have had the power to beckon Americans and Europeans alike to the presence of African religion in Christian guise.

Whether feeling is called a structure or a theme, for instance, depends on how the term is defined because in reality feeling operates as both a structure and a theme, as both form and meaning. One can observe the presence of emotion through the bodily movements and the intensity of the performance (form) of the spirituals, and one also can observe the presence of feeling through the use of particular lyrics that emphasize emotional attachments: wishes for freedom, reunification with family members, and so on (meaning).

Nevertheless, African culture survived in a structural manner, in which African style became the container for African American religious practice. The emphasis on faith as a deeply felt emotional experience of the divine, along with its African stylistic features, Figure 1 The Spiritual Narrative Dialectic Cultural Contact and Cultural Space 27 revealed this presence of spirit. Spontaneity, improvisation, call and response, polyrythms, and bodily movements became the way African religion was expressed.

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Honoring the Ancestors: An African Cultural Interpretation of Black Religion and Literature by Donald H. Matthews

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