Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora

Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora

by Walter F. Pitts
     
 

This book retraces the African origins of African-American forms of worship. During a five-year period in the field, Pitts played the piano at and recorded numerous worship services in black Baptist churches throughout rural Texas. His historical comparisons and linguistic analyses of this material uncover striking parallels between "Afro-Baptist"

…  See more details below

Overview

This book retraces the African origins of African-American forms of worship. During a five-year period in the field, Pitts played the piano at and recorded numerous worship services in black Baptist churches throughout rural Texas. His historical comparisons and linguistic analyses of this material uncover striking parallels between "Afro-Baptist" services and the religious rituals of Western and Central Africa, as well as other African-derived rituals in the United States Sea Islands, the Caribbean, and Brazil. Pitts demonstrates that African and African-American worship share an underlying binary ritual frame: the somber melancholy of the first frame and the high emotion of the second frame. Pitts's revealing perspective on this often misunderstood aspect of African-American religion provides an investigative model for the study of diaspora cultural practices and the residual influence of their African sources.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A marvelous groundbreaking study....A delight to read...Highly recommended for...students and scholars of religious studies, cultural anthropology, ethnomusicology, and African American studies."—Choice

"Undoubtedly, this is the best book in print on African American worship....It should be required reading....I am confident that all students of African American religion will be greatly indebted to Professor Pitts."—Theology Today

"A fascinating and well-written book....Gives great insight into the religious life of Blacks in the South....An excellent example of how to study non-liturgical churches from a human sciences perspective."—Expository Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195075090
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/29/1993
Series:
Religion in America Series
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
5.69(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.84(d)

Meet the Author

former Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Louisiana State University

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >