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

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Religion 58

Black Studies 28
Spring 2009 Professor David W. Wills

M, W 2:00+ Chapin 112

January 26: Introduction to the Course

January 28: The Cast of Characters: The Europeans

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

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



February 2: The Origins and History of Santería

Joseph Murphy, Santeria, entire (purchase)

February 4: What do Santeros expect from their religion?

No additional reading

Paper Due (3 pages)


February 9: Typologies of Religion, African Religions, and Religious Change

Max Weber, “The Social Psychology of the World’s Religions”

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).
February 11: Local Religion in Iberian Catholicism I

William Christian, Local Religion in Sixteenth Century Spain, chs 1-3 (purchase)

February 16: Local Religion in Iberian Catholicism II

W. Christian, Local Religion, chs. 4-6

February 18: The Protestant Reformation: Iconoclasm

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)


February 23: 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: African Islamic Empires

J. O. Hunwick, “Islam in West Africa, A.D. 1000-1800,” in J. F. Ade Ajayi and Ian Espie, eds., A Thousand Years of West African History, pp. 113-131 (packet)

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, One A,

“Askia Muhammad and Islam in Songhay”, (1497-98)

“Al-Maghili Advises Askia Muhammad on Islam in Songhay” (1498)
March 2: Kongo Catholicism/Columbus

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, One-A,

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

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, One-B

“Columbus and the Westward Expansion of the Atlantic World” (1492)

March 4: Kongo: The Christian King

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.”

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 Persevere 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

Exercise Due (1-2 pages)
March 9: Kongo Traditional Religion: An Interpretation

Wyatt MacGaffey, Religion and Society in Central Africa, pp. 42–89, 160-180 (packet).

March 11: Christianity in Kongo: Beyond Afonso

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).

John Thornton, “Religion and Ceremonial Life in the Kongo and MbunduAreas, 1500-1700,” in Linda Heywood, ed., Central Africans and Cultural Transformations in the American Diaspora, pp.71-90 (packet).

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, Two,

“A Carmelite Mission to Kongo,”

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, Three,

“Michael Angelo/Denis di Carli.”

March 13: (Friday) Paper Due (5-6 pages)


March 23: 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

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, Working Draft, Four

William Bosman on the Gold Coast and the Slave Coast


March 25: 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,”

“Do the Christians the Mercy of Having Slaves”: Bartolomé de las Casas’s ‘Remedies for the Indies”

“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.”

Exercise Due (1-2 pages)
March 30: 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

April 1: 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 Importation 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 on next page)

Religion, Revolt, and the Law: 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 Slaves

Christian Slaves in King and Queen County, Virginia

Exercise Due (1-2 pages)
April 6: Saramaka and Moravians I

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

April 8: Saramaka and Moravians II

Price, Alabi’s World, chs. 4–7.

April 13: Saramka and Moravians III

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

Viewing Assignment: “Legacy of the Spirits”

April 15: Vodou and the Haitian Revolution

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

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
April 17 (Friday): Paper Due (5-6 pages)

April 20: A Kongo Diaspora?

Richard Gray, “The Papacy and the Atlantic Slave Trade: Lourenço da Silva, the Capuchins, and the Decisions of the Holy Office,” Black Christians and White Missionaries, pp.11-27 (packet).

Elizabeth W. Kiddy, “Who Is the King of Kongo? A New Look at African and Afro-Brazilian Kings in Brazil,” in L. Heywood, Central Africans, pp. 153-182 (packet)

Mark M. Smith, “Remembering Mary, Shaping Revolt: Reconsidering the Stono Rebellion,” Journal of Southern History, 67:3 (August 2001): 513-534 (packet).

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

April 22: Muslims and Christians

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

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, vol. 7

The Captive African Restored to Liberty

Abdul Rahman

A Statement with Regard to the Moorish Prince, Abduhl Rahhahman

Autobiography of Omar Ibn Seid

John Sensbach, Rebecca’s Revival: Creating Black Christianity in the Atlantic

World, prologue and chapter 1(purchase),

April 27: Rebecca’s Revival

J. Sensbach, Rebecca, chs. 2-6.
April 29: Rebecca’s Revival

J. Sensbach, Rebecca, chs.7-8 & epilogue.

May 4: The Emergence of African American Evangelicalism in North America

Sylvia Frey and Betty Wood, Come Shouting to Zion, ch. 4 (packet)

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 (assignment continued on next page)
Slave Conversions on the Bryan Plantation

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

Hugh Bryan and St. Helena Slaves

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

“What Are 400 or 500 Books, Among So Many Thousands”: Samuel Davies Reports on Black Christian Piety in Virginia

Phillis Wheatley on George Whitefield

A Narrative of the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw
May 6: African American Evangelicalism, Revolution, and the Atlantic World

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, vol. 6

Hopkins and Stiles Raise Funds for the African Mission of Quamina and Yamma

Phillis Wheatley Resists Being Made A Missionary

Black David Preaches the Exodus in Charleston

Richard Allen’s Conversion and Freedom

Free African Society

Letter of the New Union Society of Africans to the FAS

Richard Allen Recalls the Creation of Bethel Church

Bethel AME: A Contemporary Account

“I Know from Fact”: Archibald Alexander Reports on the Effectiveness of Distributing Bibles and Hymnbooks Among Blacks

Jarena Lee’s Conversion

A Black Presbyterian Preacher in the Piedmont: John Chavis Reports to the General Assembly

Black Power at Bethel AME: The African Supplement

“We Have No Purpose or Intention Whatever of Separating Ourselves”: Bethel Trustees Address the Philadelphia Conference

‘Ye Thought Evil Against Me, But God Meant It Unto Good”: The Life and Death of an African-Born Presbyterian

Raboteau and Wills, Working Draft, vols 5-6

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

An Account of the Life of Mr. David George

May 8 (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 Amherst Books)

Joseph Murphy, Santería

William Christian, Local Religion in Sixteenth Century Spain

Richard Price, Alabi’s World

Jon Sensbach, Rebecca’s Revival: Creating Black Christianity in the Atlantic 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, Volume Six and Volume Seven.

A packet of duplicated articles and chapters.

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