protestants seemed much more effective than the catholics at completely severing a people from themselves…
ok so this was so not my field when i was formerly formally studying history, but one thing i remember being struck by in my Atlantic World History course was how Catholics took such a completely different attitude towards slaves, not so much to the point that they considered them full human beings but like, yeah, there was a lot more room given to folks to keep cultural practices and spaces………oh god, maybe jmjafrx can explain better why?
I feel like a part of it is because, as fucked up as the church has historically been, there’s a certain level of syncretism in their practices.
I mean, there’s still lots of brainwashing involved in their colonial efforts, BUT
there’s also a distinct history of incorporation in how they approached a lot of indigenous belief systems they encountered.
There are some religious historians who argue that’s part of why Saint worship became/is such a crucial part of Catholicism. It was a way to link this ~new~ religion to pantheist, animist, and polytheist (among others) religions and practices.
Unfortunately that never stopped them from being horrific, BUT
there was often more wiggle room in terms of non-Catholic practices’ existence as compared to Protestant missionary/colonialism.
(I mean, none of this is to let them off the hook, natch; nor is it to ignore that the church is responsible for the eradication, and near eradication, of countless religions and spiritualities).
Definitely.. I was thinking about other peoples in the diaspora who are not on the continent and how those africanisms are MUCH more prominent partly because of how lax catholic colonizers were… It’s definitely not to let them off… but to point out how much more detached black people are from african belief systems and practices where they were colonized by protestants… I’m also sure that the steady stream of african folk has something to do with it too.. Even the process of detaching them from their cultures started before they got here.. colonizers weren’t able to severe those ties completely but especially in catholic colonized places..
Another piece: the presence of institutions in Europe itself, such as the “cabildos” of Saville—see Isidoro Moreno, “Festive Rituals, Religious Associations, and Ethnic Reaffirmation of Black Andalusians: Antecedents of the Black Confraternities and Cabildos in the Americas,” in Representations of Blackness and the Performance of Identities, edited by Jean Muteba Rahier (Westport: Bergin and Garvey, 1999), 3-17—that were spaces for people of African descent to congregate and supposedly adopt Catholic modes of worship, which just as often became incubating cells for the renaissance of Afro-Diasporic religious practices. These types of institutions were exported to the “New World,” as in the case of Cuban cabildos that gave rise to houses of orisha worship and Brazilian irmandades. The Catholic tolerance for and promotion of images and rituals like processions also provided opportunities for enslaved people and their descendants to reconstitute and re-envision their religiosity within African frameworks (whether of Yorùbá, Kongo, Ewe/Fon, or Cross-River derivation).