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Black MagicReligion and the African American Conjuring Tradition$
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Yvonne Chireau

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520209879

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520209879.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022



(p.1) Introduction
Black Magic

Yvonne P. Chireau

University of California Press

This chapter is an introduction to a book that examines the role of black magic and religion in the African American spirituality. It begins by defining magic and religion, and explains that, in some African American spiritual traditions, ideas about magical and religious practice can enclose identical experiences. The study examines a range of African American spiritual traditions such as Conjure, Hoodoo, and root working, and contrasts them with the official doctrines of institutionalized religion: Protestant Christianity. African Americans have resignified the supernatural practices as religion, and it can be concluded that African American religion is not always distinct from what others call magic. Instead, these are complementary categories, and they have historically exhibited complementary forms in African American culture.

Keywords:   African Americans, black magic, Conjure, Christianity, spirituality, African American culture, Hoodoo

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