Faces of the Gods Vodou and Roman Catholicism in Haiti

ISBN-10: 0807843938
ISBN-13: 9780807843932
Edition: 1992
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Description: Vodou, the folk religion of Haiti, is a by-product of the contact between Roman Catholicism and African and Amerindian traditional religions. In this book, Leslie Desmangles analyzes the mythology and rituals of Vodou, focusing particularly on the  More...

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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 1992
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 12/14/1992
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 6.12" wide x 9.25" long x 0.70" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Vodou, the folk religion of Haiti, is a by-product of the contact between Roman Catholicism and African and Amerindian traditional religions. In this book, Leslie Desmangles analyzes the mythology and rituals of Vodou, focusing particularly on the inclusion of West African and European elements in Vodouisants' beliefs and practices. Desmangles sees Vodou not simply as a grafting of European religious traditions onto African stock, but as a true creole phenomenon, born out of the oppressive conditions of slavery and the necessary adaptation of slaves to a New World environment. Desmangles uses Haitian history to explain this phenomenon, paying particular attention to the role of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century maroon communities in preserving African traditions and the attempts by the Catholic, educated elite to suppress African-based "superstitions." The result is a society in which one religion, Catholicism, is visible and official; the other, Vodou, is unofficial and largely secretive.

Leslie G. Desmangles is professor of religion and international studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Preface
Cultural Setting: Religious Paradox or Symbiosis
Historical Setting: The Shaping of Two Religions in Symbiosis
Religion in the Colony: 1492-1790
Religion and the Revolts for Independence: 1790-1804
Religion and the Shaping of the Republic: 1804-1860
Religion in Haitian Life: 1860-present
The Faces of Myth: Symbiosis and the Changing Self
Participation: The Communal Self
Rites of Passage: The Transfigured Self
The Faces of the Cosmic Gods
The Nanchons: Classifications of the Lwas
Vodou Cosmology
The Cosmic Lwas
The Faces of the Gods and Public Life
The Lwas of Public Life
Conclusion
Vodou and Catholicism
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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