Black Studies 28 religion in the atlantic world, 1441-1808

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Religion 58

Black Studies 28
Spring 2008 Professor David W. Wills

M, W 2:00+ Chapin 112

January 28: The Idea of an Atlantic World and the Emergence of “Atlantic Creoles”

Philip Curtin, The Rise and Fall of the Plantation Complex, chs. 1-3 (packet).

Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North

America, introduction to Part I (packet)
January 30: The Cast of Characters: The Europeans


February 4: The Cast of Characters: The Africans

Benjamin C. Ray, “African Religions: An Overview,” in Lindsay Jones, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed, vol. 1, pp.83-91 (packet).

Nehemia Levtzion & Abdin Chande, “Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Lindsay Jones, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., vol.7, pp. 4600-4612 (packet).

Adrian Hastings, “Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa [First Edition],” and Akintunde E. Akinade, Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa [Further Considerations”, in Lindsay Jones, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., vol 3, pp. 1717-1725 (packet).


February 6: The Origins and History of Santería

Joseph Murphy, Santeria, entire (purchase)

February 11: What do Santeros expect from their religion?

No additional reading

Paper Due (3 pages)


February 13: Types of Religion

Vinigi Grottanelli & Robert M. Baum, “African Religions: History of Study,” in Lindsay Jones, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., vol 1., pp. 111-119 (packet).

William Christian, Local Religion in Sixteenth Century Spain, chs 1-2 (purchase)

February 18:Local Religion in Iberian Catholicism

W. Christian, Local Religion, chs. 3-5


February 20: The Atlantic World Begins

Albert J. Raboteau and David W. Wills, Working Draft: African-American

Religion: A Documentary History, Volume One,

Section A, “Religious Encounters in the Creation of the African-Iberian Atlantic: 1441–1518” (orange pages 1–18);

“The Beginning of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Zurara's Chronicle: 1441– 48,”

“Romanus Pontifex”

“We Had Come Thither to Trade in the Country Peacefully”: Ca’ da Mosto

“He Desired That I Should Baptize Him”: TheVoyages of Diogo Gomes

(In this and in comparable later assignments from this work, read both the introductory headnote—the yellow pages—and the text of the document—the white pages.)

Exercise Due (1-2 pages)

February 25: Portuguese-African Encounters: São Jorge da Mina, Benin, and Kongo

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, One-A,

“Building the Castle at São Jorge da Mina,”

“Ewuare the Great,”

“A Benin Ambassador in Lisbon,”

“Benin and the Search for Prester John,” and

“You Will Overcome Your Enemies with the Aid and Image of the Holy Cross: Rui da Pina Recounts the Coming of Christianity to Kongo.”

February 27: A Christian King in Kongo?

George Balandier, “The Christian King,” in Daily Life in the Kingdom of Kongo, pp. 42–63 (packet).

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, One-B,

“‘This Is a King for Whom We Have Great Affection’: The Portuguese Agenda in Kongo

“‘A Deed Worthy of Perpetual Remembrance’: Afonso I Addresses the Lords of His Kingdom on His Victory, St. James, and the Kongo Coat of Arms,”

“‘Fernão de Melo Has Sought to Destroy Us’: Afonso I Writes to Manuel I,”

“‘Not a Man But an Angel’: Rui de Aguiar Writes to Manuel I on the Piety of Afonso I,”

Henrique of Kongo Becomes Bishop of Utica

“Ordaining ‘Ethiopians, Indians, and Africans”: Leo X’s Exponi Nobis.”
March 3 Kongo: The Christian King and After/ Benin: A Different Case

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, Two,

What We Have Requested Has Been Forgotten”: Afonso I Writes to João III

“There Is Great Embarrassment and Disservice to God”: Afonso I Writes to João III

João III Letter to Afonso

Clement VII and the Slaves of Bishop Henrique

“We Will Gain More Profit With Less Danger and Outlay”: Regulations for the Chief of the Factory at São Tomé

Afonso's Nephew a Student in Portugal

“The Entire Country Could Be Easily Converted”: The Nuncio of Lisbon Writes to the Pope's Secretary of State

“Most Dear Son, We Exhort You To Perservere in Your Good Beginnings”: Paul III Writes to Afonso I

“Concede Them the Graces and Obligations Extended to Other Christian Courts:” Afonso’s Embassy to Pope Paul III

“I Would Like to Have Some Thirty Masses Said”: Manuel, Afonso’s Brother, Requests Funds from the Queen of Portugal

The Oba of Benin Rejects Christianity

Portuguese Pilot on a Royal Funeral in Benin

John Thornton, “The Development of an African Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1491–1750,” Journal of African History 25 (1984): 147–167 (packet).

Exercise Due (1-2 pages)

March 5: Kongo Traditional Religion: An Interpretation

Wyatt MacGaffey, Religion and Society in Central Africa, pp. 42–89, 160-180 (packet).
March 10:: Christianity in Kongo: Beyond Afonso

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, Two,

“A Carmelite Mission to Kongo,”


Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, Three,

“Michael Angelo/Denis di Carli.”

William Christian, Local Religion, ch 6
March 12: Black Slavery, Ladinos, and Resistance in Spanish America

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, One-B,

“Memorial of Fray Bernardino de Manzanedo,”

“Letters of Licenciado Zuazo,” and

“Charles V Authorizes the Importation of Four Thousand Slaves.”

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, Two,

“Royal Decree Restricting Importation of Ladinos.”

“Black Slaves Revolt in Mexico,”

“Miguel: Black King in Venezuela,”

“Piety and Resistance Among Panamanian Blacks,”

“Regarding the Blacks of Portobello,” and

“Panamanian Maroons.”

March 14: (Friday) Paper Due (5-6 pages)



March 24: Atlantic Creoles?

Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North

America, introduction to Part I (packet)

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, Vol Three

‘This Gave Me Great Hope of Their Conversion’: François Colombin Reports on His Travels in West Africa

Alexis de Saint-Lo

Claude Jannequin, Sieur de Rochefort, on Religion, Justice, and Marriage in the Senegambia

Jean Grillet: A Jesuit Assesses Cape Verde and Guinea Catholicism

Sieur D. B.: Gris-gris and Rosaries at Rufisque

“It is True, There Is in This a Kind of Analogy”” An Anonymous Account of Senegambian Religion

March 26: French Missionaries and Caribbean Blacks

Sue Peabody, “‘A Nation Born to Slavery’: Missionaries and Racial Discourse in Seventeenth-Century French Antilles,” Journal of Social History (fall 2004), pp. 113-126 (packet)

Sue Peabody, “‘A Dangerous Zeal’: Catholic Missions to Slaves in the French Antilles, 1635-1800,” French Historical Studies, vol 25., no. 1 (winter 2002): 53-90 (packet)

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, Four,

Jean Mongin on Jesuit Missions on Saint-Christophe

Moreau on Jesuits in French Antilles

March 31: Vodou and the Haitian Revolution

P. Curtin, RFPC, ch. 12 (packet)

Carolyn E. Fick, The Making of Haiti, ch 2 (packet).

David Geggus, “Marronage, voodoo, and the Saint Domingue slave revolt of 1791,” in P.Galloway and P. F. Boucher, Proceedings of the French Colonial Historical Society . . .May 1989, pp. 22-35 (packet).

John Thornton, “‘I Am the Subject of the King of Kongo’: African Political Ideology and the Haitian Revolution,” Journal of World History, 4:2 (1993):181-214 (packet).

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, Six,

Moreau de Méry

Saint Domingue Secret Assemblies

Colonel Malenfant

Exercise Due (1-2 pages)
Viewing Assignment: “Legacy of the Spirits”

4:00 and 7:30 Fayerweather 117

April 2: Haitian Vodou

Karen McCarthy Brown, “Vodou,” in Lindsay Jones, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., Vol. 14, pp. 9634-9639 (packet)

Terry Rey, “Kongolese Catholic Influences on Haitian Popular Catholicism: A Sociohistorical Explanation,” in Linda M. Heywood, ed., Central Africans and Cultural Transformations in the American Diaspora (packet)


April 7: The Impact of the Protestant Reformation/Protestantism and the Dutch Empire

Hans Hillerbrand, “Reformation,” in Lindsay Jones, ed. Encyclopedia of Religion, Vol. 11, pp. 7656-65 (packet).

Carlos M. N. Eire, War Against Idols, ch. 6 (packet) (39pp)

April 9: Dutch Protestantism and West African Religion

Michelle Gilbert, “Akan Religion,” in Lindsay Jones, ed.,Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., vol 1, pp.214-216 (packet).

Michelle Gilbert, “Fon and Ewe Religion,” in Lindsay Jones, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., vol.5, pp. 3165-3167 (packet).

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, Three

Pieter De Marees on the Gold Coast

Raboteau and Wills, Wordking Draft, Four

William Bosman on the Gold Coast and the Slave Coast

Exercise Due (1-2 pages)
April 14: The Curious Case of Jacobus Elisa Capitein

The Agony of Asar: A Thesis on Slavery by a Former Slaves, Jacobus Elisa

Johannes [Capitein] 1717-1747, trans. & ed. Grant Parker, pp.1-56, 81- 135 (purchase)
April 16: Saramaka and Moravians I

Richard Price, Alabi’s World, prologue, chs. 1–3 (purchase).

April 21: Saramaka and Moravians II

Price, Alabi’s World, chs. 4–7.

April 23: Saramka and Moravians III

Price, Alabi’s World, ch. 8 and epilogue.

April 25 (Friday): Paper Due (5-6 pages)


April 28: Baptism, Freedom, and Resistance in the Early African British Atlantic

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, vol 3

The Religion of Barbadian Slaves: Richard Ligon

Thomas Jackman to Richard Baxter

An Act Declaring That Baptism Does Not Bring Freedom: Virginia

Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, vol. 4

Maryland: “An Act for Encouraging the Importantion of Negroes”

“This Concerns Every One of You That Are Masters of Families”: George Fox, “Gospel Family Order,” and Black Slaves in Barbados

Richard Baxter and the Morality of Slavery

Barbados: “An Act to Prevent the People Called Quakers from Bringing Negroes to Their Meetings”

Plans for a Slave Revolt in Barbados (assignment continues to next page)

Religion, Revolt, and theLaw: Virginia

Morgan Godwyn and the Anglican Effort to Convert Barbadian Slaves

The Christianization of Barbadian Slaves: Instructions to Governor Dutton

An Early Black Christian Association: Massachusetts

“If the Slaves Were Baptized, the Planters Would Think Themselves Obliged To Look Upon Them As Brothers in Christ and Use Them with Humanity”: Francis Le Jau Reports on the Anglican Church in the West Indies

Francis Le Jau and Low Country Black Christians

Baptism and Emancipation—Lingering Fears: North Carolina

The Bishop of London Encourages the Religious Instruction of SLves

Christian Slaves in King and Queen County, Virginia
April 30: African Traditions/Islam

John Thornton, “African Dimensions of the Stono Rebellion,” American Historical Review 96:4 (October 1991): 1101-113

William D. Piersen, Black Yankees, chs 10-11 (packet)

Michael Gomez, Exchanging Our Country Marks, ch. 4 (packet)

May 5: The Emergence of African American Evangelicalism

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, vol 5:

George Whitefield’s Second Visit to America Begins

George Whitefield, An Open Letter

Alexander Garden Attacks Whitefield’s Letter to the Inhabitants of Maryland, etc

George Whitefield, Gilbert Tennent, and Blacks in the Boston Awakening

The Slave Who Could Preach Like Whitefield

The Authenticity of Black Conversions in the New England Awakening Debated

Blacks and Indians in the Southeastern Connecticut Awakening: The Influence of James Davenport

The Liturgical Style of the Radical Awakening: James Davenport’s Preaching

Slave Conversions on the Bryan Plantation

Assemblies of Negroes in St. Helena, S.C. Investigated

Hugh Bryan and St. Helena Slaves
May 7: The African American Evangelical Conversion Narrative

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, volume 5

Autobiography of a Moravian Slave: Ofodobendo Wooma/Andrew the Slave

A Narrative of the Lord’s Wonderful Dealing with John Marrant

A Narrative of the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, volume 6 (assignment continues)

David George and the Silver Bluff Congregation

Richard Allen’s Conversion and Freedom

Jarena Lee’s Conversion
May 9 (Friday) Final Paper Due (4-5 pages)

The written assignments consist of four ungraded exercise of 1-2 pages and four graded papers, of varying lengths, all on assigned topics. Assignments are due on the date indicated. Extensions will be given only under very unusual circumstances. Regular class attendance is expected. The grade will be based primarily on the written work, but class participation will also be taken into account. Any student who misses more than four class sessions, without extraordinary and compelling reasons, will have his or her grade for the course reduced.

Books for Purchase (at the Jeffery Amherst College Store)

Joseph Murphy, Santería

William Christian, Local Religion in Sixteenth Century Spain

Grant Parker, trans. & ed., The Agony of Asar: A Thesis on Slavery by a Former Slaver,

Jacobus Elisa Johannes, 1717-1747

Richard Price, Alabi’s World

Duplicated Materials for Purchase (at the Religion Department Office)

Albert J. Raboteau and David W. Wills, Working Draft: African-American Religion: A Documentary History, Selections from Volumes One, Sections A and B, and Volume Two, Volume Three, Volume Four, Volume Five, and Volume Six.

A packet of duplicated articles and chapters.

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