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Book Cover
Author Smith, Theophus Harold.

Title Conjuring culture : biblical formations of black America / Theophus H. Smith.

Publication Info. New York : Oxford University Press, 1994.


Location Call No. Status
 University of Saint Joseph: Pope Pius XII Library - Standard Shelving Location  277.308 S662C    Check Shelf
Description xvi, 287 pages ; 24 cm.
Series Religion in America series
Religion in America series (Oxford University Press)
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (page 257.272) and index.
Contents Introduction: Formulary -- Ethnographic Perspectives -- Genesis -- Mimetics -- Theopoetics -- Mosaica -- Pharmacosm -- Exodus -- God-conjuring -- Ethnogenesis -- Repertory -- Americana -- Law -- Judges -- Pharmakon -- Pharmakoi -- Wilderness -- Theoretical Perspectives -- Spirituals -- Aesthetics -- Ecstatics -- Iconics -- Wisdom -- Conjunctions -- Intentions -- Significations -- Prophecy -- Shaman -- Sojourner -- Conjure-woman -- Theological Perspectives -- Gospel -- Suffering Servants -- Saviors -- Praxis -- Pharmakeus -- Negations -- Apocalypse -- Nemesis -- Providence -- Conclusion: Diaspora.
Summary "In Conjuring Culture, Theophus Smith provides an innovative, interdisciplinary interpretation of the formation of African-American religion and culture. Smith argues for the central role in black spirituality of "conjure"--A magical means of transforming reality. Smith shows that the Bible, the sacred text of Western civilization, has in fact functioned as a magical formulary or sourcebook for African-Americans." "Beginning in slave religion, and continuing in folk practice and literary expression, the Bible provided African-Americans with ritual prescriptions for prophetically re-envisioning and, therein, transforming history and culture. In effect, it functioned as a "conjure book" for prescribing practices of healing and harming in response to the vicissitudes of black experience, and for invoking Divine and extraordinary powers in the conduct of social change and freedom movements. Typical prescriptions entail biblical symbols, themes, and figures like Moses, Exodus, Promised Land, and Suffering Servant - figures that have crucially formed and reformed American culture as a whole." "In addition to religious and political phenomena. Smith explores black aesthetics as expressed in music, drama, folklore, and literature. The concept of conjure discloses an indigenous and still vital spirituality with implications for reformulating the next generation of black studies and black theology. Indeed, the book introduces "conjuring culture" as a new conceptual paradigm for understanding Western religious and cultural phenomena generally."--Jacket.
Subject African Americans -- Religion.
Religion and culture -- United States.
Bible -- Influence -- Western civilization.
Bible -- Criticism, interpretation, etc. -- United States -- History.
Typology (Theology) -- History of doctrines.
Magic -- Religious aspects -- Christianity -- History of doctrines.
Culturele aspecten.
United States.
Indexed Term Black persons Christianity
United States
Other Form: Online version: Smith, Theophus Harold. Conjuring culture. New York : Oxford University Press, 1994 (OCoLC)609104533
Online version: Smith, Theophus Harold. Conjuring culture. New York : Oxford University Press, 1994 (OCoLC)623508739
ISBN 0195067401 alkaline paper
9780195067408 alkaline paper
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