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Free to Be a Slave: Slavery as Metaphor in the Afro-Atlantic Religions

dc.contributor.author Matory, J Lorand
dc.date.accessioned 2013-05-10T14:04:53Z
dc.date.issued 2007-01-01
dc.identifier.issn 0022-4200
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10161/7067
dc.description.abstract Scholars tend to regard enslavement as a form of disability inflicted upon the enslaved. This paper confronts the irony that not all black Atlantic peoples and religions conceive of slavery as an equally deficient condition or as the opposite of freedom and other rights that are due to respected human beings. Indeed, the religions of enslaved Afro-Latin Americans and their descendants—including Brazilian Candomblé, Cuban and Cuban-diaspora Ocha (or Santería) and Haitian Vodou—are far more ambivalent about slavery than most scholars and most Black North Americans might expect. In these religions, the slave is often understood to be the most effective spiritual actor, either as the most empowering servant of the supplicant's goals or as the most effective model for supplicants' own action upon the world. These ironies are employed to illuminate the unofficial realities of both the Abrahamic faiths and the North American practices of 'freedom'.
dc.publisher BRILL
dc.relation.ispartof Journal of Religion in Africa
dc.relation.isversionof 10.1163/157006607X218764
dc.subject Freedom
dc.subject Slavery
dc.subject Spirit possession
dc.subject Morality
dc.title Free to Be a Slave: Slavery as Metaphor in the Afro-Atlantic Religions
dc.type Journal article
pubs.begin-page 398
pubs.end-page 425
pubs.issue 3
pubs.organisational-group African and African American Studies
pubs.organisational-group Cultural Anthropology
pubs.organisational-group Duke
pubs.organisational-group Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
pubs.volume 37
dc.identifier.eissn 1570-0666


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