The Spirituality Of African Peoples

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Preeminent black social ethicist Peter Paris sharpens the Afrocentric quest. He focuses on African "spirituality" - the religious and moral values embodied in African experience and pervading traditional African religious worldviews. From extensive comparative research and personal travel, Paris shows how such values were retained and modified in the diaspora, most notably in African American religious and moral thought and practice. Traditional understandings of God, ancestral spirits, tribal community, family belonging, reciprocity, personal destiny and agency, he shows, have not only survived great cultural upheavals but remarkably even been enriched and enlivened. Paris's Pan-African focus, careful scholarship, and eye for ultimate values in varying cultural milieus combine here to model comparative cultural analysis and to clarify the cultural foundations of black ethical life.

Eminent black social ethicist Peter Paris focuses on African "spirituality"--the religious and moral values pervading traditional African religious worldviews. Paris's careful scholarship and his eye for value in varying cultural milieus combine to model comparative cultural analysis and to clarify cultural foundations of black ethical life.

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What People Are Saying

Lamin Sanneh
A valuable statement on the enduring traditions of Africa in the hostile setting of transplantation, suppression and discrimination and on their positive effects on black political and religious life. I welcome this book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800628543
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/1/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 907,865
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Africa: Revolution in Understanding 1
Moral Challenges to Scholarship 1
African Challenges to Colonial Scholarship 5
African American Challenges to Racist Scholarship 11
African and African American Challenges to Social Ethics 18
Ch. 2 God: The Source and Ground of All Life 27
African Understandings of God 27
African American Theological Syncretism 33
African and African American Moral Syncretism 41
African and African American Survival Theologies 44
Ch. 3 Community: The Goal of the Moral Life 51
African and African American Understandings of Ancestral Life 51
African and African American Understandings of Leadership 58
African and African American Understandings of Slavery 61
African and African American Views of Pluralism and Unity 68
Ch. 4 Family: The Locus of Moral Development 77
The African Family: Typical Features of Moral Significance 77
The African American Family: Typical Features of Moral Significance 89
Ch. 5 Person: The Embodiment of Moral Virtue 101
The African View of Personhood 101
African Views of Personal Destiny 105
Conflicting Views of Liberty and Authority 114
African American Views of Personhood 117
Ch. 6 Ethics: African and African American Social Ethics 129
The African Factor in the African American Experience 129
Virtue Theory 130
Some African and African American Moral Virtues 136
The Christian Factor in African and African American Social Ethics 156
Postscript 161
Notes 165
Index 185
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