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Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition Paperback – November 20, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (November 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520249887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520249882
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #724,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Chireau has written a marvelous text on an important dimension of African-American religious culture. Expanding beyond the usual focus of scholarship on Christianity, she describes and analyzes the world of magical-medical-religious practice, challenging hallowed distinctions among "religion" and "magic." Anyone interested in African-American religion will need to reckon seriously with Chireau's text on conjure." - Albert J. Raboteau, Princeton University "Deprived of their own traditions and defined as chattel, enslaved Africans formed a new orientation in America. Conjuring - operating alongside of and within both the remnants of African culture and the acquired traditions of North America - served as a theoretical and practical mode of deciphering and divining within this, enabling them to create an alternate meaning of life in the New World. Chireau's is the first full-scale treatment of this important dimension of African American culture and religion. A wonderful book!" - Charles H. Long, Professor of History of Religions University of California, Santa Barbara and author of Significations: Signs, Symbols and Images in the Interpretation of Religion"

From the Inside Flap

"Chireau has written a marvelous text on an important dimension of African American religious culture. Expanding beyond the usual focus of scholarship on Christianity, she describes and analyzes the world of magical-medical-religious practice, challenging hallowed distinctions among "religion" and "magic." Anyone interested in African American religion will need to reckon seriously with Chireau's text on conjure."—Albert J. Raboteau, Princeton University

"Deprived of their own traditions and defined as chattel, enslaved Africans formed a new orientation in America. Conjuring—operating alongside of and within both the remnants of African culture and the acquired traditions of North America—served as a theoretical and practical mode of deciphering and divining within this, enabling them to create an alternate meaning of life in the New World. Chireau's is the first full-scale treatment of this important dimension of African American culture and religion. A wonderful book!"—Charles H. Long, Professor of History of Religions University of California, Santa Barbara and author of Significations: Signs, Symbols and Images in the Interpretation of Religion

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen D. Glazier on December 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This well-researched, well-written, and richly detailed study illuminates a world that hitherto has been misunderstood by both scholars and the general public and adds greatly to our understanding of the myriad dimensions of African American spirituality. Stephen D. Glazier, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Smith on February 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book for a theology course. It arrived in the condition that was advertised, and it was a well-written analysis of its subject. The author ended up visiting my class and was very knowledgeable of her subject. A good academic read.
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16 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hoodoo and conjure are just about the most *natural* things in the world. These magical and religous *bits and pieces* were parts of African Ancestral traditions that survived with the African's who crossed over the sea. They augmented what they brought with them with the flora and the fauna and the condition of enslavement.
This history of Hoodoo & Conjure doesn't quite resound with the naturalness of the practice. It beats around the bush fitting what was related to common sense or mother wit onto an intrepretive schemata which is itself *other than*, i.e. based on non- African interpretive models formulated for academic analysis.
What I love about this book is hearing the names of the Old Souls and in too few cases seeing a drawing of them. The author has included their own words and this is priceless.
What I did not like was the shortness of the work itself, the many footnotes and the doctrate feel of the work. The author joins with Theophus Smith's Conjuring Culture in having more references to other works in footnotes than personal observation due to their own interaction with the subject. This book as is Smith's is sterile. It "tastes" like canned collard greens. For the amount of *new* information included it is also overpriced in the hardcover edition.
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