Conjuring Culture: Biblical Formations of Black America
This book provides a sophisticated new interdisciplinary interpretation of the formulation and evolution of African American religion and culture. Theophus Smith argues for the central importance of “conjure,” a magical means of transforming reality, in black spirituality and culture. Smith shows that the Bible, the sacred text of Western civilization, has in fact functioned as a magical formulary for African Americans. Going back to slave religion, and continuing in black folk practice and literature to the present day, the Bible has provided African Americans with ritual prescriptions for prophetically re-envisioning, and thereby transforming, their history and culture.