Cooking of History: How Not to Study 'Afro-Cuban Religion'
Author(s): Stephan Palmie
Over a lifetime of studying Cuban Santer\u00eda and other religions related to Orisha worship and mdash;a practice also found among the Yoruba in West Africa and mdash;Stephan Palmi\u00e9 has grown progressively uneasy with the assumptions inherent in the very term Afro-Cuban religion. In The Cooking of History he provides a comprehensive analysis of these assumptions, in the process offering an incisive critique both of the anthropology of religion and of scholarship on the cultural history of the Afro-Atlantic World. and Acirc; Understood largely through its rituals and ceremonies, Santer\u00eda and related religions have been a challenge for anthropologists to link to a hypothetical African past. But, Palmi\u00e9 argues, precisely by relying on the notion of an aboriginal African past, and by claiming to authenticate these religions via their findings, anthropologists and mdash;some of whom have converted to these religions and mdash;have exerted considerable influence upon contemporary practices. Critiquing widespread and damaging simplifications that posit religious practices as stable and self-contained, Palmi\u00e9 calls for a drastic new approach that properly situates cultural origins within the complex social environments and scholarly fields in which they are investigated.
Collection: JH-Sociology & anthropology,
Paperback / softback
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