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In offering a balanced, informed survey of Santeria from his unique

 "insider-outsider" perspective, De La Torre also provides insight

into how Christianity and Santeria can enter into dialogue

 

 

 Books on Cuba

 

The Autobiography of a Slave  /  Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a CubaSanteria from Africa to the New World: The Dead Sell Memories

Fidel Castro and the Quest for a Revolutionary Culture in Cuba  /   Reyita: The Life of a Black Cuban Woman in the Twentieth Century  

 

Singular Like a Bird: The Art of Nancy Morejon   / Caliban and Other Essays   /   The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball

 

 Santeria Aesthetics in Contemporary Latin America Art   / Culture and Customs of Cuba  /  Man-making Words; Selected Poems of Nicholas Guillen

 

 Afro-Cuban Voices: On Race and Identity on Contemporary Cuba   / Afro-Cuba: An Anthology of Cuban Writing on Race, Politics, and Culture 

 

 Nicolas Guillen: Popular Poet of the Caribbean   /    Selected Poetry by Nancy Morejon  /  Cuba: After the Revolution 

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Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals 

of a Growing Religion in America

By Miguel A. De La Torre

 

This book by Miguel De la Torre offers a fascinating guide to the history, beliefs, rituals, and culture of Santeria -- a religious tradition that, despite persecution, suppression, and its own secretive nature, has close to a million adherents in the United States alone.

Santeria is a religion with Afro-Cuban roots, rising out of the cultural clash between the Yoruba people of West Africa and the Spanish Catholics who brought them to the Americas as slaves. As a faith of the marginalized and persecuted, it gave oppressed men and women strength and the will to survive. With the exile of thousands of Cubans in the wake of Castro's revolution in 1959, Santeria came to the United States, where it is gradually coming to be recognized as a legitimate faith tradition.

Apart from vague suspicions that Santeria's rituals involve animal sacrifice and notions that it is a "syncretistic" form of Catholicism, most people in America's cultural and religious mainstream know very little about this rich faith tradition -- in fact, many have never heard of it at all. De La Torre, who was reared in Santeria, sets out in this book to provide a basic understanding of its inner workings. 

He clearly explains the particular worldview, myths, rituals, and history of Santeria, and he discusses what role the religion typically plays in the life of its practitioners as well as the cultural influence it continues to exert in Latin American communities today.

 

In offering a balanced, informed survey of Santeria from his unique "insider-outsider" perspective, De La Torre also provides insight into how Christianity and Santeria can enter into dialogue -- a dialogue that will challenge Christians to consider what this emerging faith tradition can teach them about their own. Enhanced with illustrations, tables, and a glossary, De La Torre's Santeria sheds light on a religion all too often shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding.Wm. B. Eerdmans, Publisher

 

Miguel De La Torre has performed the almost magical academic feat of balancing the objectivity of a trained observer with the insights of an insider. He leads his readers on a historical, theological, and cultural journey that goes tot he heart of this rich religious tradition unfolding within a rapidly changing America society.Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo, Brooklyn College, CUNY

 

Table of Contents

     Tables

viii

     Figures

x

     Preface

xi

1.  Santeria: What Is It?

1

2.  Creation

31

3.  The Orishas and Their Legends

57

4.  The Rituals

101

5.  Oracles

139

6. Historical Roots

157

7.  A Religion of Resistance

189

8.  An Emerging Religion within a Christian Environment

205

     Glossary

225

     Bibliography

235

     Index

241

*   *   *   *   *

Dr. De la Torre is a Cuban, a professor of religion at Hope college, with specialization in Christian Social Ethics, Theologies of Liberation and Postmodern/Postcolonial Studies. He is the author of a seminal article on the denial of racism in Cuba entitled, "Masking Hispanic Racism: A Cuban Case Study": "I am a recovering racist, a product of two race-constructed societies. Exilic Cubans see themselves as white and the Island's inhabitants as mostly black." "A major issue which will arise in a post-Castro Cuba is intra-Cuban race relations, an issue mostly ignored because of the myth proclaiming Cubans as non-racists. I propose to debunk this myth. Any serious discourse on intra-Cuban reconciliation must unmask the hidden tension existing between seemingly white Exilic Cuba and black Resident Cuba."  Holland, MI 49422 / 616-395-7756  www.hope.edu/delatorre/  For the rest of this fascinating article, see http://www.hope.edu/delatorre/articles/jhlt.html

 

*   *   *   *   *

Philosophy of Pedagogy

My educational development has been significantly influenced by Paulo Freire's work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which, doubting the existence of an objective, neutral educational system, finds its students lead toward either domestication or liberation. All too often, the educational system serves to normalize existing power structures contributing to maintaining a "culture of silence." Our advance consumer-society rapidly dehumanizes individuals into Objects who concur with the rationality of the present system. The role of the educator, as I see it, is to facilitate the student's consummation of their ontological vocation in becoming a Subject. My task as a professor is to cultivate the student's ability to find their own voice by creating an environment in where individual and collective consciousness-raising can occur.

In order to construct a response to injustice and oppression, I have taught classes combining liberationist perspectives with postmodern analysis. Upon the tension created by these diverse narratives, I have constructed an approach to religious studies from the periphery providing a unique outlook to the normative discourse, a view I believe enhances traditional curricula. Because individuals enter the educational system with a lifetime of experiences and knowledge, courses can be designed to bring their suppositions into conversation with postmodern and liberationist paradigms. Students partake in forming a learning environment by leading segments of the discourse and participating in projects to encourage the interweaving of scholastic rigor with their personal backgrounds.

As both my curriculum vitae and corporate résumé indicate, I posses practical and academic knowledge in public policy and economics, specializing in how the socio-political culture normalizes the oppression of the Other. My controversial approach to marginalized theologies (specifically Latino/a) moves beyond what Edward Said terms "the rhetoric of blame" by concentrating upon intra-ethnic structures of oppressions. A review of the articles I have published, the papers I have presented and the courses I have taught demonstrate and are consistent with my focus in analyzing race, class, and gender oppression

*   *   *   *   *

Publications:

Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins. Orbis Press, forthcoming in 2004.

Handbook of U.S. Theologies of Liberation. Chalice Press, forthcoming in 2004.

Santería: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., forthcoming in 2003.

La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami. University of California Press, forthcoming in 2003.

The Quest for the Cultural Cuban Christ: A Historical Search. University Press of Florida, forthcoming, in Fall 2002.

Reading the Bible from the Margins. Orbis Press, forthcoming in May, 2002.

Introduction to Hispanic Theology: Latino/a Perspectives, co-authored with Edwin Aponte, Orbis Press, 2001.

Ajiaco Christianity: Toward an Exilic Cuban Ethic of Reconciliation, Ph.D. diss., Temple University, 1999.

*   *   *   *   *

AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

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#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals 

of a Growing Religion in America

By Miguel A. De La Torre

This book by Miguel De la Torre offers a fascinating guide to the history, beliefs, rituals, and culture of Santeria -- a religious tradition that, despite persecution, suppression, and its own secretive nature, has close to a million adherents in the United States alone. Santeria is a religion with Afro-Cuban roots, rising out of the cultural clash between the Yoruba people of West Africa and the Spanish Catholics who brought them to the Americas as slaves. As a faith of the marginalized and persecuted, it gave oppressed men and women strength and the will to survive. With the exile of thousands of Cubans in the wake of Castro's revolution in 1959, Santeria came to the United States, where it is gradually coming to be recognized as a legitimate faith tradition.

*   *   *   *   *

AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

The Brilliant Disaster

JFK, Castro, and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs

By Jim Rasenberger

My telling of the Bay of Pigs thing will certainly not be the first. On the contrary, thousands of pages of official reports, journalism, memoir, and scholarship have been devoted to the invasion, including at least two exceptional books: Haynes Johnson’s emotionally charged account published in 1964 and Peter Wyden’s deeply reported account from 1979. This book owes a debt to both of those, and to many others, as well as to thousands of pages of once-classified documents that have become available over the past fifteen years, thanks in part to the efforts of the National Security Archives, an organization affiliated with George Washington University that seeks to declassify and publish government files. These newer sources, including a CIA inspector general’s report, written shortly after the invasion and hidden away in a vault for decades, and a once-secret CIA history compiled in the 1970s, add depth and clarity to our understanding of the event and of the men who planned it and took part in it. . . .

*   *   *   *   *

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 2 March 2012

 

 

 

Home Inside the Caribbean

Related files: Fidel My Early Years  Fidel Bio  Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War  Jimmy Carter on Cuban-American Relations  Cuba Photo-Exhibit    Herbert Rogers on Cuba  Cuban BookList 

Nicohola Guillen  Ajiaco Christianity  Santeria The Beliefs and Rituals      The Quest for the Cuban Christ    Table of Contents  Foreword