Divining the Self weaves elements of personal narrative, myth, history, and interpretive analysis into a vibrant tapestry that reflects the textured, embodied, and performative nature of scripture and scripturalizing practices. Velma Love examines the Odu-the Yoruba sacred scriptures-along with the accompanying mythology, philosophy, and ritual techlogies engaged by African Americans. Drawing from the personal narratives of African American Ifa practitioners along with additional ethgraphic fieldwork conducted in Oyotunji African Village, South Carolina, and New York City, Love's work explores the ways in which an ancient worldview survives in modern times. Divining the Self also takes up the challenge of determining what it means for the scholar of religion to study scripture as both text and performance. This work provides an excellent case study of the sociocultural phemen of scripturalizing practices.
Velma E. Love is Project Director of the Howard University School of Divinity's National Study of Black Congregational Life.