Divining the Self
A Study in Yoruba Myth and Human Consciousness
By (author) Velma E. Love
Publication date:25 October 2012
Length of book:160 pages
PublisherPenn State University Press
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.
—Grey Gundaker, Duane A. and Virginia S. Dittman Professor of American Studies and Anthropology, College of William and Mary