Roberto StrongmanFeb 4, 2020
Queering Black Atlantic Religions
Transcorporeality in Candomblé, Santería, and Vodou
Duke University Press 2020
In Queering Black Atlantic Religions: Transcorporeality in Candomblé, Santería, and Vodou (Duke University Press, 2019), Roberto Strongman reveals the many non-heteronormative texts, practices and beliefs though which Black Atlantic religious practices in Haiti, Cuba and Brazil were constituted. Strongman examines Haitian Vodou, Cuban Lucumí/Santería, and Brazilian Candomblé to demonstrate how religious rituals of trance possession allow humans to understand themselves as embodiments of the divine. In these rituals, the commingling of humans and the divine produces gender identities that are independent of biological sex. As opposed to the Cartesian view of the spirit as locked within the body, the body in Afro-diasporic religions is an open receptacle. Showing how trance possession is a primary aspect of almost all Afro-diasporic cultural production, Strongman articulates transcorporeality as a black, trans-Atlantic understanding of the human psyche, soul, and gender as multiple, removable, and external to the body.