Synopses & Reviews
Known in the Dominican Republic and Togo as Vodu, in Benin as Vod n, and in Haiti as Vodou, West African religion has, for hundreds of years, served as a repository of sacred knowledge while simultaneously evolving in response to human experience and globalization.
Spirit Service: Vod n and Vodou in the African Atlantic World explores this dynamic religion, its mobility, and its place in the modern world. By examining the systems--ritual practices, community-based spirit veneration, and spiritual means of securing opportunity and well-being--alongside the individuals who worship, this rich collection offers the first comprehensive ethnographic study of West African spirit service on a broad scale. Contributors consider social encounters between African/Haitian practitioners and European / North American spiritual seekers, economies and histories, funerary rites and spirit possessions, and examinations of gender and materiality.
Offering much-needed perspective on this historically disparaged religion, Spirit Service reminds us all that the gods are growing, assimilating, and demanding recognition and respect.