Current interest in Afrocentricity is but one moment in the longstanding post-colonial search by African peoples, both on the continent and in the diaspora., for cultural beacons. Pre-eminent black social ethicist Peter Paris here sharpens and focuses that quest on African "spirituality"--that is, 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 its practice. Traditional understandings of God, ancestral spirits, tribal community, family belonging, reciprocity, personal destiny, and agency have not only survived great cultural upheavals but remarkably even been enriched and enlivened. Paris' pan-African focus, careful scholarship, and his eye for ultimate values in varying cultural milieus combine here to model comparative cultural analysis and to clarify cultural foundations of black ethical life.
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Customer Reviews for Spirituality of African Peoples
Peter Paris has written a well-reasoned treatise exploring the relationship between African spirituality and African American spirituality. Whereas other writers see more discontinuity between the two, Paris perceives continuity of beliefs and practices between African religiosity and African American religiosity. Surprisingly, much of the book's research relies upon secondary sources rather than on the plethora of available primary sources (for African American spirituality).Reviewer: Robert W. Kellemen, Ph.D. is the author of the forthcoming "Sacred Companions: The Story of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction." He has also authored "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," "Martin Luther's Counseling," and "Biblical Psychology."