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The Living Traditions of Santera - Research Paper Example

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In the paper “The Living Traditions of Santería” the author selected Santeria as the topic for his final paper because there is not readily accessible information about the religion, which only made him more curious about it. The research method is the perusing of various libraries…
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The Living Traditions of Santera
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Download file to see previous pages Santeria is an Afro-Caribbean religion that is based on the beliefs and traditions of the Yoruba people and on some Native American traditions, though it later incorporated elements of Catholicism. Santeria dates back to 1515, being brought to the New World on the tongues of African men, women, and children who were being sold during the slave trade. At this time, Santeria consisted mainly of the beliefs of the Yoruba people. It was only two years after the religion’s initial birth that practitioners of Santeria had the first taste of Catholicism (Murphy 15), as this was the dominating religion of the era. To be able to continue adhering to the ways of the Yoruba, these people were forced to incorporate elements of Catholicism into their practices, thus creating Santeria, making a Santero both a devout Catholic and a devout practitioner of Santeria.
Numerous attempts had been made by the Catholic Church to convert their African slaves to Catholicism. While many of these slaves were willing to listen to the religious lessons being taught, the majority of them felt that their spiritual needs were not being met by Catholicism. Indeed, many of the spirits worshipped by the Yoruba were disguised as Catholic saints so that the slaves may worship them freely. Fortunately, the Catholic Church was lenient with the existence of ethnic traditions, which allowed the Yoruba people to combine what they appreciated from the Catholic traditions into their own tradition. It is the shades of Catholicism in the Santeria religion that make the religion so unique, as well as a syncretic religion, which means that it combines elements from more than one religion or culture. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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