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Santeria - Research Paper Example

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In many ways they are also a very modern religion—evolving out of a world where cultures and faiths clashed. Religions such as the Santeria are called syncretic religions—faiths that meld many different groups into one, trying to…
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Download file to see previous pages Perhaps, but it depends on the criteria one uses to measure success. For example, there are not many members of Santeria and it is also quite a geographically and racially limited faith (de la Torre, 12). It probably would not appeal to a broad segment of the world’s population. The practitioners of this faith have also not made much of an impact on contemporary life. But before discussing this issue further, some history about Santeria is important. The Santeria developed largely out of a mix of African tribal religions and new world spirituality that meshed together in the plantations of the Caribbean. During the 16th and 17th century many Africans were kidnapped from their homes on the East Coast of Africa and forcibly transferred to the Caribbean to work on sugarcane plantations as slaves (Eltis, 156-7). Their journey in the Middle Passage was a truly cruel and terrifying one. Although the place they were going to was very religious—mostly Catholic—the people there had no real respect for the Africans’ traditional religions. Many new arrivals to the New World found their religion had been criminalized and that they had to be baptized into a new faith (Eltis, 78). They had the vestiges of their old life stripped from them as they were nothing more than rags. Over time, the old religion and the new religions became one and Santeria was born. Santeria has special gods and special priests and interesting ceremonies that sometimes feature animal sacrifices. Music plays a very important role in the rituals (de la Torre, 121). In these respects it is similar to many of its constituent religions, including Catholicism. All of these reasons establish that Santeria is a fascinating religion; this essay will examine some further points that strengthen this assertion.
To many, Santeria is looked at with some suspicion as there have been some unfortunate news stories about it in recent years (McQuiston). People sometimes have the ideas ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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