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African Santeria enters the New World

George Brandon, a cultural anthropologist who also works as the director of the Program in Sociomedical Sciences at the City University of New York, provides a well-documented, historical reconstruction of one of the many areas taken by Yoruba religiou…

Candomble: The African-Brazilian Dance in Honor of the Gods

Candomblé (meaning dance in honor of the gods) is a religion found primarily in Brazil with a number of elements derived from African cultures. It not only incorporates some religious aspects of Yoruba, Bantu, and Fon African societies, but it graduall…

African Mythology
New History Finally Recognizes Afro-Creole Spiritualists

Emily Clark’s new work, A Luminous Brotherhood, is an extensive study of a subject that has weirdly been neglected in scholarship: the career of the Afro-Creole Spiritualist Cercle Harmonique from 1858 to 1877. Religious studies scholar Clark has thoro…

World Religions
The History of Divination

Divination is the attempt of ascertaining information by interpretation of omens or an alleged supernatural agent, either by or on behalf of a querent (the person the interpretation is meant for). From the earliest stages of civilization, people have u…

Afro-Caribbean Religions
Orisha Trinidad: Drums and Colours

It is time for the invisible to reveal themselves. The drums are speaking to the ancient ancestors of Africa. Tonight in a rural garden in central Trinidad, tradition dictates that it will be Shango, the Yoruba god of fire, thunder and lightning who wi…

Afro-Caribbean Religions
Religion in Jamaica: Finding the Self through Finding God

“God and nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.”

~Marcus Garvey~


World Religions
A Brief History of Zombies, The Undead, And Our Enduring Obse...

Before The Walking Dead, Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later and before Night of the Living Dead, zombies — or, at least, the idea of zombies — were very different. Originating from Haitian culture and influenced by the Voodoo religion, the zombies that p…

Afro-Caribbean Religions
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Spiritual Life in God

Missing person: The Holy Spirit

Many people may have had an experience like that of the little girl who heard the Holy Ghost (as the Holy Spirit is sometimes called) mentioned in church from time to time, but so vaguely and infrequently she could…

Reflections On Voodoo Neuroscience

Seven years ago, neuroscientists Ed Vul and colleagues made waves with their paper on ‘voodoo correlations’ in social neuroscience. Now, in a new paper, historian of medicine Cornelius Borck looks back on the voodoo correlations debate and asks whether…

World Religions
Candomblé : A new initiate's story

Like many people who eventually found their spiritual home in candomblé I was drawn to it by a deep respect and fascination for the orixás, an admiration of its mythology, and by the charisma of a priest who invited me to join his temple. This priest u…

World Religions
Brazilian Believers Of Hidden Religion Step Out Of Shadows

Amid chanting and drumming, a crowd gathers in Sao Paulo and waits for the gods to come to them from the spirit world.

They are celebrating a sacred festival day in honor of Omulu, a deity of life and death. The women wear white dresses with crin…

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