Synopses & Reviews
Divining the Self
weaves elements of personal narrative, myth, history, and interpretive analysis into a vibrant tapestry that reflects the textured, embodied, and performative nature of scripture and scripturalizing practices. Velma Love examines the Odu—the Yoruba sacred scriptures—along with the accompanying mythology, philosophy, and ritual technologies engaged by African Americans. Drawing from the personal narratives of African American Ifa practitioners along with additional ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Oyotunji African Village, South Carolina, and New York City, Love’s work explores the ways in which an ancient worldview survives in modern times.
Divining the Self also takes up the challenge of determining what it means for the scholar of religion to study scripture as both text and performance. This work provides an excellent case study of the sociocultural phenomenon of scripturalizing practices.
About the Author
Velma E. Love is Project Director of the Howard University School of Divinity's National Study of Black Congregational Life
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Mythic Origins and Cultural Practices
2 Orisha Archetypes, Cultural Memory, and the Odu
3 Divining the Self
4 Symbols and Signposts for the Journey
5 Powers of the Mothers
6 Oshun, Yemonja, and Oya