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Choice Magazine, Outstanding Academic Book (2005)
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"The author, who grew up in the Santeria faith, provides insight into the myths, rituals, worldview, history and cultural influence of the Afro-Cuban religion. Neither condemning nor condoning, he seeks to provide the information and context necessary to prompt discussion and understanding between Santeria believers and Christians."
"Writing as both an academic outsider and a privileged former insider, De La Torre retells Yoruba myths clearly and expressively, and his analysis of religious syncretism is both scholarly and accessible. Detailed descriptions of the various manifestations of each orisha make this one of the most comprehensive books on the subject, while the complex issue of Santeria ritual, which can include animal sacrifice, is handled unsensationally but vividly. This book should be part of any collection intended to represent the breadth of American religious experience."
Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo
"Miguel De La Torre has performed the almost magical academic feat of balancing the objectivity of a trained observer with the insights of an insider. He leads his readers on a historical, theological, and cultural journey that goes to the heart of this rich religious tradition unfolding within a rapidly changing American society."
"De La Torre succeeds fully in giving us the best general introduction to Santería, an Afro-Cuban folk religion brought to the United States by Cuban refugees after Castro's 1959 revolution. . . He draws on both lived experience (having grown up in the religion) and scholarly expertise . . . to strike just the right balance between the personal perspectives of the faithful and the distance of a non-believing scholar. . . Strongly recommended."
Religious Studies Review
"A well-balanced presentation of a complex religious system that is continually growing and beginning to attract educated middle-class Euro-Americans."