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date: 25 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The typical story of African American religions narrates the development and power of the Protestant black church, but shifting the focus to the long nineteenth century can reorient the significance of the story. The nineteenth century saw the boom of Christian conversions among African Americans, but it also was a century of religious diversity. All forms of African American religion frequently pushed against the dominance of whiteness. This included the harming and cursing element of Conjure and southern hoodoo, the casting of slaves as Old Israel awaiting their exodus from bondage, the communications between the spirit of Abraham Lincoln and Afro-Creoles in New Orleans, and the push for autonomy and leadership by Richard Allen and the rest of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. While many studies of African American religions in the nineteenth century overwhelmingly focus on Protestantism, this is only part of the story.

Keywords: African American religions, religion and race, slavery, Protestantism, Catholicism, politics

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