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Library Resource Guide for: AFRICANA STUDIES

Religion in Africa and the African Diaspora

Africa has traditionally been home to a wide array of religious traditions. In addition, the African diaspora brought Africans, both free and enslaved, into contact with European and other traditions that influenced their religious practices. The resources listed below provide a starting point for conducting research on this topic.

Subscription Databases:

American Slavery: A Composite Autobiography  full text icon  
2000 edition; a study of the WPA slave narratives. A massive historical collection, it includes complete records for each narrative identifying the narrator, his or her year of birth, and the county and state where the narrator was in bondage.

Anthropology Plus  
Early 19th century-present; as a compilation of the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Anthropological Index and Harvard University's Anthropological Literature database, Anthropology Plus is a comprehensive index covering the fields of anthropology, archaeology, and related interdisciplinary research. This database provides extensive indexing of journal articles, reports, and commentaries.

AnthroSource  full text icon  
Current plus archive to 2006; AnthroSource is an online resource serving the research, teaching, and professional needs of anthropologists. Developed by the American Anthropological Association (AAA), AnthroSource brings 100 years of anthropological material online to scholars and the public.

Index Islamicus  
1906-present; Index Islamicus is an international bibliography of publications in European languages covering all aspects of Islam and the Muslim world, including history, beliefs, societies, cultures, languages, and literature. The database includes material published by Western orientalists, social scientists and Muslims.

Internet Resources:

  • Abayudaya: The Jews of Uganda
    A 2003 exhibition of photographs and music at Tufts University.

  • Art & Oracle: African Art and Rituals of Divination
    Online scholarly resource created as a companion to the 2000 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Includes maps, objects, essays, glossary and a bibliography.

  • Passport to Paradise
    An exhibition program concerning arts of the Mourides, a mystical Muslim movement originating in Senegal, West Africa. From the Fowler Museum of Cultural History at UCLA.

  • Santeria
    A description of the history of Santeria, mounted by the New Religious Movements project at the University of Virginia

  • The Story of Africa: Traditional Religions
    BBC broadcast from the landmark radio series The Story of Africa. This web page includes additional resources, including a bibliography of online and text-based resources.

  • This Far by Faith: African American Spiritual Journeys
    Companion website for the PBS program of the same title, covering spirituality in the African American experience from 1642 to the present; includes a timeline, individual profiles and audiovisual clips.