Divining the Self is a unique form of sensory scholarship that weaves elements of personal narrative, mythic story, history, and interpretive analysis into a vibrant tapestry of meaning that reflects the textured, embodied, and performative nature of scripture and scripturalizing practices. An examination of the Odu, the Yoruba sacred scriptures, along with the accompanying mythology, philosophy, and ritual technology as engaged by African Americans, this is the story of the appropriation of an ancient worldview for survival in modern times. Based on the personal narratives of twenty African American practitioners, along with additional ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Oyotunji Village, South Carolina, and New York City, this work is a study in mythic archetypes, vibratory energies, and human consciousness. Divining the Self takes up the challenge of determining what it means for the scholar of religion to study scripture as both text and performance. Through its exploration of African American engagements with Yoruba scriptures, this work provides an excellent case study for examining the performative aspects of scriptures and the sociocultural phenomenon of scripturalizing practices.
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