Book Review: Conjuring Culture: Biblical Formations of Black America. Religion in America" By Theophus H. Smith

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Book Review

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African American Studies | Biblical Studies | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | History of Religions of Western Origin | Other Religion | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


This revised dissertation is bold and original in conceptualization, thoroughly researched, and written with great passion. Showing a creative lack of respect for disciplinary boundaries, Smith draws deeply and creatively upon American, especially African American, religious history, folklore and musicology, aesthetics, literary criticism and critical theory, history and phenomenology of religion, and biblical her-meneutics in order to produce a brilliant and sophisticated interpretation of the construction of the worldview that can be associated with a significant segment of African Americans. This worldview is argued to have been effected through the engagement of the Bible as a "conjure book," a "kind of magical formulary for prescribing cures and curses, and for invoking extraordinary powers in order to reenvision, revise, and transform the conditions of human existence" (6).

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©1995 Jesuits of the USA

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