Spirit Service: Vodún and Vodou in the African Atlantic World (Paperback)
Known in the Dominican Republic and Togo as Vodu, in Benin as Vod n, and in Haiti as Vodou, West African religion has, for hundreds of years, served as a repository of sacred knowledge while simultaneously evolving in response to human experience and globalization.
Spirit Service: Vod n and Vodou in the African Atlantic World explores this dynamic religion, its mobility, and its place in the modern world. By examining the systems--ritual practices, community-based spirit veneration, and spiritual means of securing opportunity and well-being--alongside the individuals who worship, this rich collection offers the first comprehensive ethnographic study of West African spirit service on a broad scale. Contributors consider social encounters between African/Haitian practitioners and European / North American spiritual seekers, economies and histories, funerary rites and spirit possessions, and examinations of gender and materiality.
Offering much-needed perspective on this historically disparaged religion, Spirit Service reminds us all that the gods are growing, assimilating, and demanding recognition and respect.