This volume explores the lives of women around the world from the perspective of the New and Africana faiths they practice.
Afro-Cuban priestesses. Raneesh lovers. The “Earths” among the Nation of Gods and Earths. Neo-Pagan witches. The religions that originated in Africa and found a place in the New World, and those “new religions” that have emerged over the past half-century offer fascinating, often empowering roles to women believers—roles that reveal much about the overall attitudes toward women in those societies.
This probing and thought-provoking series of essays brings together in one volume the multifaceted experiences of women in the New and Africana religions as practiced today. With this work, religion becomes a lens for examining the lives of women of diverse ethnicities and nationalities across the social spectrum.
In Women and New and Africana Religions, readers hear from women from a number of religious/spiritual persuasions around the world, including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, South America, and North America. These voices form the core of remarkable explorations of family and environment, social and spiritual empowerment, sexuality and power, and ways in which worldview informs roles in religion and society. Each essay includes scene-setting historical and social background information and fascinating insights from renowned scholars sharing their own research and firsthand experiences with their subjects.
Features • Includes 14 essays from 17 contributors, all distinguished in their careers as both observer participants and research scholars • Offers bibliographies and notes for each essay and a comprehensive bibliography concluding the book
Highlights • Discusses a wildly diverse body of religious practices as seen through the eyes of women around the world • Includes contributions from some of the foremost senior researchers in this field, as well as some of the most promising newer researchers • Shows how religious roles and practices involving women reveal much about the place of women in the society as a whole
Lillian E. Ashcraft-Eason, Ph.D., has taught at several universities and currently is professor of history, initiator, and former chair of the Africana Studies Program, and director of the Benin Seminar at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH. Dr. Ashcraft-Eason is author of books and numerous articles in the field of Black religion and history, and she currently is completing a booklength manuscript on Africana Women and Religion in the British North-American Colonies.
Darnise C. Martin, Ph.D., is assistant professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA, where she teaches courses in African American Studies and Theological Studies. Her published works include Beyond Christianity: African Americans in a New Thought Church. She continues research on the influence of New Thought religions upon contemporary Prosperity Ministries.
Oyeronke Olademo, Ph.D., is senior lecturer at the University of Ilorin in Nigeria, where she has taught and researched on comparative religions and women in religion for the past 19 years. Research conducted during Dr. Olademo's visiting scholar tenure in the women's studies program of Harvard University resulted in a book on Women in the Yoruba Religious Sphere.
Reviews "Recommended. Upper-level graduates through faculty/researchers."—Choice
"This probing and thought-provoking essay collection examines the multifaceted experiences of women from a number of religious and spiritual persuasions around the world, including those who practice religions that have emerged in the past half century as well as practitioners of African religions that have found a place in the New World. Contributors to this volume use religion as a lens with which to examine family and environment, social and spiritual empowerment, and sexuality and power, and their essays reveal the ways in which worldview informs roles in religion and society. Each essay includes historical and social background information and fascinating insights from renowned scholars who share their own research and firsthand experiences with their subjects."—Reference & Research Book News