Musa, David. African American Religion: A Confluent of African Traditional Religion and Christianity. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse Publishers, 2015.
Literature on North American slavery is almost inexhaustible but negligent of the religious culture of the slaves, most especially African-American Christianity. As noted in Robert Handy’s insightful article, for several decades African-American Christianity appeared only as incidentals in the general historiography of American Church history. Considering the immeasurably positive role of the Church in the lives of African-Americans, this oversight is almost inexcusable.
Thus this study is a contribution to recent explorations into that vital aspect of the history of African slaves in North America – their Christianization. The study focuses on the question of why the African slaves were apparently more responsive to Christianity in the Great Awakenings than during the previous evangelization efforts by the Anglican missionaries.
I propose that the continuities as well as discontinuities between Christianity and African Traditional Religion were key among determinant factors in the slaves’ response to Christianity. Basically, the slaves responded to the type of Christianity in which these factors were more prominent, the Great Awakenings vis-å-vis the Anglican version.
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