Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

African Diaspora Religions

  • Alexander (Alejandro) V. GonzalezEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_9020

African Diaspora Religions, also known as Afro-American and African-derived religions, refer to a system of sub-Saharan, West, and Central African spirituality that spread throughout the Americas. Many distinct groups were forcibly brought to the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the United States.

Places such as Brazil, Cuba, Hispaniola, Trinidad, and the southern United States witnessed interaction between enslaved people of different tribal affiliations. These exchanges, as well as contact with indigenous practices and European beliefs, led to the indigenization of African beliefs and practices. Practices would differ among the slaves’ progeny, yet all maintained a congruent African spiritual orientation.

In this African spiritual orientation, a primal force holds the cosmos in balance and animates all things; there is a supreme, albeit distant being, that is above a pantheon of semidivinities; and semidivinities in turn interact with humans and sometimes depend on them for...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Strayer UniversityPiscatawayUSA