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Santería
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"Clark's refreshing approach to Santer^D'ia arises from a mind and heart immersed in the tradition. Yet Clark also exhibits the nuance and thoroughness any good scholar exercises in her study of a subject. Clark has written an excellent introduction for both the seeker interested in Santer^D'ia personally, and the curious reader who would simply like to know more about this fascinating and timely religious tradition." -- W. Michael Ashcraft, co-editor, Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America "Chock full of clear and accurate information, this book is the perfect starting place for seeker and student alike. In step-by-step chapters, Dr. Clark leads the reader toward a deeper understanding of a highly-misunderstood tradition. In addition to basic facts about the beliefs and practices of Santer^D'ia we are given much good advice: what to expect at ceremonies; how to dress and act; and what things to consider for those seeking a spiritual path in the religion. Dr. Clark's excellent work is a sympathetic yet critical guide to this important religion now experiencing a renaissance in America." -- Joseph M. Murphy, Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, author of Santer^D'ia: African Spirits in America.

About the Author

Mary Ann Clark is both a scholar and practitioner of Santeria. In addition to teaching in the Religious Studies Program at the University of Houston and the School of Human Sciences and Humanities at the University of Houston Clear Lake, she is the coordinator of the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion. She is the author of Where Men are Wives and Mothers Rule: Santeria Ritual Practices and their Gender Implications as well as several articles, book chapters, and book reviews.

Reviews

"Clark provides an accessible, sympathetic introduction to an often-misunderstood religion, Santeria. Intended for seekers or those with no background in the religion, the book even provides instructions on worship etiquette. In ten brief but clear chapters, Clark takes the reader from the origins of the religion in Africa (chapter 2) to a discussion of its mythologies and deities or orishas (chapter 4), to an explanation of its rituals of divination (chapter 7) and initiation (chapter 8), to a consideration of its future in the US (chapter 10). The book is best in explaining how Santeria is different from yet appropriates other Caribbean religions--Spiritism (Espiritismo) and Palo Monte--as it morphs into Santerismo....A useful glossary lists Spanish and Yoruba words used in the religion. Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates, general readers." - Choice
"Clark, who is both a scholar and a practitioner of Santeria, does a very good job of explaining both the concepts and the rituals in such a way that even those not initially receptive to this tradition will at least come to understand the rather sophisticated thinking behind it....This is a very clear and informative book on an important and growing religion that would be valuable in any library." - Catholic Library World
"A practitioner as well as a scholar, Clark provides an introduction to the religion that was developed in Africa and brought to the Americas, and is part of the Orisha worship religious system. She treads a middle ground between the inaccuracies of popular sensational works, and the technical terminology of specialist academic studies." - Reference & Research Book News

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