One glaring lacuna in studies of Haitian Vodou is the scarcity of works exploring the connection between the religion and its main roots, traditional Yoruba religion. Discussions of Vodou very often seem to present the religion in vacuo, as a sui generis phenomenon that arose in Saint-Domingue and evolved in Haiti, with no antecedents. What is sorely needed then is more comparative studies of Haitian Vodou that would examine its connections to traditional Yoruba religion and thus illuminate certain aspects of its mythology, belief system, practices, and rituals. This book seeks to bridge these gaps.
Vodou in the Haitian Experience studies comparatively the connections and relationships between Vodou and African traditional religions such as Yoruba religion and Egyptian religion. Such studies might enhance our understanding of the religion, and the connections between Africa and its Diaspora through shared religious patterns and practices. The general reader should be mindful of the transnational and transcultural perspectives of Vodou, as well as the cultural, socio-economic, and political context which gave birth to different visions and ideas of Vodou.
The chapters in this collection tell a story about the dynamics of the Vodou faith and the rich ways Vodou has molded the Haitian narrative and psyche. The contributors of this book examine this constructed narrative from a multicultural voice that engages critically the discipline of ethnomusicology, drama, performance, art, anthropology, ethnography, economics, literature, intellectual history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, religion, and theology. Vodou is also studied from multiple theoretical approaches including queer, feminist theory, critical race theory, Marxism, postcolonial criticism, postmodernism, and psychoanalysis.
Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 581 g
Dimensions: 235 x 163 x 27 mm
Editors and contributors must be commended in making the text, concepts and ideas easily accessible to non-French and Kreyol speakers.... Vodou in the Haitian Experience is an excellent book and a welcomed contribution toward a more clear and nuanced understanding of Haitian Vodou. It proves that the religion deserves far greater scholarly attention, and has something to say to readers of diverse interests, perspectives and fields of study seeking to understand the phenomenon. * Black Theology: An International Journal *
The chapters of Vodou in the Haitian Experience make several important contributions, both empirical and theoretical.... The chapters that comprise Vodou in the Haitian Experience make for an interesting and eclectic read, especially for how they address the old problem of adaptation and retention in new ways. This task seems most concretely realized in the chapters that explicitly discuss Vodou's aesthetics, poetics, and performance, as experienced by those who engage the tradition. * Reading Religion *
This volume makes a solid contribution to the scholarship on Vodou. Its interdisciplinary nature renders it interesting to a wide range of scholars, including but not limited to art critics, historians, and social scientists. . . . Ultimately, Vodou in the Haitian Experience is a worthy addition to any collection addressing Vodou and its interpretation. * Nova Religio: The Journal Of Alternative And Emergent Religions *
Without question, Vodou in the Haitian Experience adds much to our knowledge and understanding of the origins, development, and impact of Vodou not only in Haiti but throughout the Diaspora. This prudently structured and carefully researched volume is a very powerful book and is a must read for anyone interested in the various aspects of the Vodou religion from a multitude of academic disciplines and cultural perspectives. For these points alone all of the authors involved in creation of this anthology, especially editors Celucien L. Joseph and Nixon Cleophat should be greatly congratulated. -- Eric Jackson, Northern Kentucky University