University of Rochester

EVENT: Talk by anthropologist Deidre Helen Crumbley on "Ritual, Power, and the Female Body in African Independent Churches."

TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester's River Campus

ADMISSION: Free and the event is open to the public

September 20, 2007

Deidre Helen Crumbley, associate professor on the faculty of Africana Studies in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at North Carolina State University, turned to the study of religion and culture in Africa and the African Diaspora after being raised a member of a millenarian sanctified church. The church taught her the world would end before she reached adulthood, and when it didn't she turned to anthropology, and religious and African studies for meaning.

Crumbley holds a master of theological studies degree from Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate in anthropology from Northwestern University. Her lecture is rooted in her forthcoming book, Spirit, Structure, and Flesh: Gender and Power in African Initiated Churches, which is based on her study of Nigeria's Aladura, an indigenous church movement among the Yoruba people.

The lecture is one of several in the series "Religious Cultures of the African Diaspora: New Trajectories of Inquiry," which explores the ways religion has shaped the diversity of the African Diaspora community in Rochester and beyond. The series––co-sponsored by the Frederick Douglass Institute and the Department of Religion and Classics––is part of the Humanities Project, an initiative by the University of Rochester emphasizing the influence and contributions of the humanities to academic and civil life.

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