An analysis of a black religious : A case study



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis involves itself with an analysis of the nature and history of a 'mysterious' Black religious cult of Voodoo. To study this cult a combination of the historical and participatory observation approaches were utilized. In addition to these research tools, interviews were held with members of this cult in New Orleans, Louisiana. This study used as its theoretical framework Goode's propositions of primitive religions as a working hypothesis, combined with the 'religiousness' model proposed by Rodney Stark and Charles Block. This model calls for the consideration of five dimensions in the study of religiousness of any religious group. Using this model, combined with the insight of Goode's work with primitive religions, a total picture of the meaning of religion for this cult was possible. From my observations, therefore, no evidence to support the assumptions of Voodoo being an unorganized pathological hysteria, encompassing only the evils of black magic. Quite to the contrary, Voodoo is a highly organized, traditionalized religious cult having a definite ritual and socialization process.



Religions, Voodooism, New Orleans, Louisiana