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Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality Hardcover – April 2, 2012
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I learned, for one thing, that sometimes denial makes good rhetoric, as it does in Brenda Marie Osbey's essay "Why We Can't Talk to You About Voodoo." Repeatedly she says that she cannot talk about her beliefs, but she does, and her message is that talking to those outside her ancestral faith fails because we, the outsiders, want access to myth, mystery and exotic ritual, not necessarily the truth. She's right. I did not want to see her deny the importance of Marie LaVeau, New Orleans Voodoo queen, still revered by many 130 years after her death. I've visited her grave in St. Louis Cemetery #1, seen a young man stand at the vault playing his guitar. Osbey admits no such person to her pantheon: "I can tell you that there are no queens, priests, or priestesses in Voodoo." The dolls are "a gimmick borrowed from European witchcraft to cheat the . . . tourists" (75).
The book makes the point that there are many religions, many ways of being spiritual, and that no one religion opposes any other. Any one of us, Southern or not, may safely leave the path of tradition and received wisdom.Read more ›
All that being said, though, this is a great collection. Religion is extremely prevelant in the south and the take on it - agnostic, Protestant, Jewish, Orthodox - in this book is fascinating and compelling.