RELG 248

The Religions of Africa

Students will examine religions of Africa both in their indigenous expressions and in the Diaspora. Methodological issues such as what constitutes a “traditional” religion will be examined, as will questions of ritual, cosmology, myth-making, and the place of women. The effects of colonialism and the situation of postcolonialism will be discussed in-depth in the context of both continental and diaspora religious experience. The relationship of colonialism to syncretism will be explored in the examination of diaspora religions in the Caribbean and American settings. Movements such as Voodoun and Rastafarianism will be studied with a view to understanding how new religions are created as a process of inter-cultural contact and adaptation to historical events. III.O, V.4