2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Santeria and Vodou: African Religion in a Christian Society
Allison B. Maurer
Dr. Steven Reschly and Dr. William Ashcraft, Faculty Mentors

African Diaspora religions have been viewed by Christians for centuries as evil manifestations and rituals originating from barbaric people of underdeveloped nations. To the Christian slave owners in Colonial America, African religions represented a severe threat to authority and the system of slavery. They felt that the slaves, if allowed to practice their religion, could use it against the slave owners and viewed the religious traditions as witchcraft. The enslaved Africans were forced, instead, to learn and practice Christianity. However, in nearly every different area where the African slaves were forced to learn Catholicism, the slaves became aware of the parallels that existed between their traditional African religions and the new religion, Catholicism, which was forced upon them.

Keywords: Santeria, Vodou, Christianity, African Diaspora, religion, Slavery, Caribbean

Topic(s):History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 27-1
Location: OP 2111
Time: 9:45

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