Divining the Self: A Study in Yoruba Myth and Human Consciousness

Overview

Divining the Self weaves elements of personal narrative, myth, history, and interpretive analysis into a vibrant tapestry that reflects the textured, embodied, and performative nature of scripture and scripturalizing practices. Velma Love examines the Odu—the Yoruba sacred scriptures—along with the accompanying mythology, philosophy, and ritual technologies engaged by African Americans. Drawing from the personal narratives of African American Ifa practitioners along with additional ethnographic fieldwork ...

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Overview

Divining the Self weaves elements of personal narrative, myth, history, and interpretive analysis into a vibrant tapestry that reflects the textured, embodied, and performative nature of scripture and scripturalizing practices. Velma Love examines the Odu—the Yoruba sacred scriptures—along with the accompanying mythology, philosophy, and ritual technologies engaged by African Americans. Drawing from the personal narratives of African American Ifa practitioners along with additional ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Oyotunji African Village, South Carolina, and New York City, Love’s work explores the ways in which an ancient worldview survives in modern times.

Divining the Self also takes up the challenge of determining what it means for the scholar of religion to study scripture as both text and performance. This work provides an excellent case study of the sociocultural phenomenon of scripturalizing practices.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271054056
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 11/14/2012
  • Series: Signifying (on) Scriptures , #1
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Velma E. Love is Project Director of the Howard University School of Divinity's National Study of Black Congregational Life

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

A Note on the Text xiii

Introduction 1

1 Mythic Origins and Cultural Practices 19

2 Orisha Archetypes, Cultural Memory, and the Odu 42

3 Divining the Self 53

4 Symbols and Signposts for the Journey 67

5 Powers of the Mothers 80

6 Oshun, Yemonja, and Oya 88

Conclusion 107

Notes 117

Bibliography 131

Index 135

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