The 17 contributors to Ã’sun across the Waters delineate the special dimensions of Ã’sun religion as it appears through multiple disciplines in multiple cultural contexts. Tracing the extent of Ã’sun traditions takes us across the waters and back again. Ã’sun traditions continue to grow and change as they flow and return from their sources in Africa and the Americas.
Joseph Murphy is associate professor in the Theology Department at Georgetown University. He is the author of Santeria: An African Religion in North America and Working the Spirit: Ceremonies of the African Diaspora.
Mei-Mei Sanford received her doctorate in Religion and Society from Drew University. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Nigeria. She currently does research in Nigeria and in African-American and Yoruba expatriate religious communities in the United States.
Santería was brought to the United States in two principle waves, one in the early 1960s after the Cuban Revolution and later by the Marielitos who escaped from the island in the 1980s. Since then it has spread to the larger Hispanic community, to the African American community, and to other segments of society as well. Today, practitioners can be found in every state, and interest in Orisha and related traditions has gained popularity. As the number of practitioners has grown so has public awareness. In this compelling introduction, Clark answers such questions as where did this religion come from? What do practioners believe? Is it a cult? What takes place at a ritual event? How does it view death and the afterlife? Is there ritual sacrifice? Clark, a practitioner as well as a scholar of the faith, dispels the myths that surround this religious practice, and brings readers to a better understanding of this growing faith in America.