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Divining the Self: A Study in Yoruba Myth and Human Consciousness

Divining the Self: A Study in Yoruba Myth and Human Consciousness

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Divining the Self weaves elements of personal narrative, myth, history, and interpretive analysis into a vibrant tapestry that reflects the textured, embodied, and performative nature of scripture and scripturalizing practices. Velma Love examines the Odu—the Yoruba sacred scriptures—along with the accompanying mythology, philosophy, and ritual technologies engaged by African Americans. Drawing from the personal narratives of African American Ifa practitioners along with additional ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Oyotunji African Village, South Carolina, and New York City, Love’s work explores the ways in which an ancient worldview survives in modern times.

Divining the Self also takes up the challenge of determining what it means for the scholar of religion to study scripture as both text and performance. This work provides an excellent case study of the sociocultural phenomenon of scripturalizing practices.

About the Author

Velma E. Love, author of Divining the Self: a Study in Yoruba Myth and Human Consciousness (Penn State University Press, 2012), is currently the Project Director for “Equipping the Saints: Promising Practices in Black Congregational Life,” a Lilly Endowment funded project at Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, DC. 

Formerly an Associate Professor of Religion at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL, she received the BA from the University of South Carolina, the M. Div. from Union Theological Seminary and the Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University. Love’s primary research interests include sacred texts in society, the contemporary application of Ifa spiritual technology, Africana spiritual narratives, spirituality and holistic health, and the spiritual memoirs of women of African descent. 

You can find more about her on her website

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