Offerings from African Diasporic Religious Ethnography
Keywords:subjectivity/subjectivities, inter-subjectivity/inter-subjectivities, African Diasporic religion, ethnography, Trinidad, Yoruba religion, orisha, Oshun
This article focuses on subjectivity in the ethnography of religion by considering the multiplicity of subjectivity and their relationalities, drawing from the author’s ethnographic encounter with the orisha Oshun in Trinidad. This reflection on the implications of taking seriously the spectral or spirit, in their many forms and aspects, as active agents involves the expansion of subjectivity and the relational aspects of inter-subjectivity from the singular to the multiple. Written from a purposefully provocative compound subject position of “I/we”, this article asks that ethnographers of religion grapple with the offerings of ontologies outside the Western “normative” intellectual tradition. I/we offer that this shift will impact our engagements with the people and communities that we work with, expanding our capacity to share multiple worlds and our ability to engage numerous theorizations.
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