Queering Creole Spiritual Traditions: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Participation in African-Inspired Traditions in the Americas

1st Edition

Randy P Lundschien Conner, David Sparks

Routledge
Published March 22, 2004
Reference - 402 Pages
ISBN 9781560233510 - CAT# HW14135

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Summary

What roles do queer and transgender people play in the African diasporic religions? Queering Creole Spiritual Traditions: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Participation in African-Inspired Traditions in the Americas is a groundbreaking scholarly exploration of this long-neglected subject. It offers clear insight into the complex dynamics of gender and sexual orientation, humans and deities, and race and ethnicity, within these richly nuanced spiritual practices.

Queering Creole Spiritual Traditions explores the ways in which gender complexity and same-sex intimacy are integral to the primary beliefs and practices of these faiths. It begins with a comprehensive overview of Vodou, Santeria, and other African-based religions. The second section includes extensive, revealing interviews with practitioners who offer insight into the intersection of their beliefs, their sexual orientation, and their gender identity. Finally, it provides a powerful analysis of the ways these traditions have inspired artists, musicians, and writers such as Audre Lorde, as well as informative interviews with the artists themselves.

In Queering Creole Spiritual Traditions, you will discover:
  • how the presence of androgynous divinities affects both faith and practice in Vodou, Candomble, Santeria, and other Creole religions
  • how the phenomenon of possession or embodiment by a god or goddess may validate queer identity and nurture gender complexity
  • who practices the African-derived spiritual traditions, what they believe, and who their deities are
  • how these faiths have influenced the art and aesthetic traditions of the West
This landmark book opens a fascinating new world of thought and belief. The authors provide rigorous documentation and faultless scholarly method as well as personal experience and the testimony of believers. Queering Creole Spiritual Traditions sheds new light on two widely different fields: LGBT studies and the theology of the African diaspora. A thorough bibliography points the way to further study, and an extensive photograph gallery provides a unique look at the believers and their practices. Every library with holdings in queer theory, African mythology, or sociology of religion should have this landmark volume.

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