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Conjuring Culture


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"A highly original and very creative text....Will represent a new kind of African-American religious scholarship."--Albert J. Raboteau, Princeton University "Promises not only to move African American religious studies to a new stage but also to provide a kind of 'healing book' of his own for a contemporary culture in which racial antagonism has again poisoned the body politic."--The Cresset "Conjuring Culture offers an original and important contribution to the study of African-American religion....Smith provides a new paradigm for understanding the black religious experience."--Church History "Employing ethnographic theories, phenomenological analysis, and biblical hermeneutics, Smith moves across a dazzling array of disciplines and cultural materials, both historical and contemporary....Highly recommended for graduate students and specialists."--Choice "A highly original and very creative text. The breadth of reading and learning displayed is not only impressive but apt. The book defies easy categorization, as it ranges across theological, literary, ethical, biblical, and aesthetic issues. I predict that it will be widely noticed, it will arouse argument, and it will represent a new kind of African-American religious scholarship."--Albert J. Raboteau, Princeton University "Smith's work shows independence, creativity, and originality. It is the first work on African-American religion that has grown out of religious studies. While attentive to the black theology agenda, he has not succumbed to it, and while well versed in the scholarly work of those in other humanistic disciplines, he has held out for a religious meaning of these same data. The black theology project seemed at one point to take away all the other options....Smith's work opens up the area of black religion again, an opening that places the study within a wider perspective of method."--Charles Long, University of California, Santa Barbara "This book is a "must reading"-a seminal work of analysis and synthesis, and a major event in hermeneutics and cultural criticism."--Allen D. Callahan, Harvard Divinity Bulletin "Theophus Smith provides an innovative, interdisciplinary interpretation of the formation of African-American religion and culture....The book introduces "conjuring culture" as a new conceptual paradigm for understanding western religious and cultural phenomena generally."--Black Media News "Highly recommended for scholars."--Religious Studies Review "Smith has written an important book that will generate healthy debate among scholars in African American religion and culture. Indeed, scholars interested in Western religious and cultural phenomena generally will find Conjuring Culture refreshing and thought-provoking."--The Journal of American History "An extremely important and intellectually creative book. Indeed, it is a new paradigm for black theological and African American religious-studies thought and method."--The Journal of Religion "A major book....What Smith has produced is an impressive African American cultural history."--American Literature "Conjuring Culture is a compelling, interdisciplinary testament to the transformative power of human spirituality."--Theology Today

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