Albert J. Raboteau

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Albert Jordy Raboteau (born 1943) is an African-American scholar of African and African-American religions.

Life and career[edit]

Before Raboteau was born, his father, Albert Jordy Raboteau (1899-1943), was killed in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi,[1] by a white man who was never convicted of the crime.[2] His mother moved from the South, where she was a teacher, to find a better place for her children.[2] She remarried to an African-American priest. Raboteau's stepfather taught him Latin and Greek starting at five years old, and also helped him focus on church and education. He was accepted into college at the age of sixteen. He was awarded a BA by Loyola University in 1964 and an MA in English from the University of California, Berkeley.[3] He entered the Yale Graduate Program in Religious Studies, where he studied with American religious historian Sydney Ahlstrom and African-American historian John Blassingame, receiving his PhD in 1974. Raboteau's dissertation, later revised and published as the book Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South, was published just as the black studies movement was gaining steam in the 1970s and in the wake of revolutionary scholarship on American slavery: Olli Alho's The Religion of Slaves (1976), Blassingame's Slave Community (1972) and Slave Testimony (1977), Eugene Genovese's Roll, Jordan, Roll (1974), and Lawrence Levine's Black Culture and Black Consciousness (1977).[4]

In 1982 Princeton University hired Raboteau, first as a visiting professor and then as full-time faculty. He is currently (2009) Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion. His research and teaching focus on American Catholic history, African-American religions, and religion and immigration issues. He chaired the Department of Religion (1987–92) and also served as dean of the Graduate School (1992–93). He received the Lifetime Service Award (Journey Award) in both 2005 and 2006. In 2005, he also received the special Achievement Award (Journey Award). He has subsequently converted to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Books[edit]

  • Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-19-502438-9.
  • A Fire in the Bones: Reflections on African-American Religious History. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995. ISBN 0-8070-0932-6.
  • A Sorrowful Joy. New York: Paulist Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8091-4093-4.
  • Canaan Land: A Religious History of African Americans. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-19-514585-2.
  • African American Religion: Interpretive Essays in History and Culture. New York: Routledge, 1997. ISBN 0-415-91458-2. Co-edited with Timothy E. Fulop.

See also[edit]

African Americans and Orthodox Christianity

References[edit]

  1. ^ Albert J. Raboteau, A Sorrowful Joy (Paulist Press, 2002: ISBN 0-8091-4093-4), p. 14.
  2. ^ a b "Albert Jordy Raboteau, Jr.". Retrieved 01.12.2008. 
  3. ^ Wardell J. Payne (ed.), Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity (Howard University Press, 1995: ISBN 0-88258-184-8), p. 270.
  4. ^ Raboteau, "Afterword," Slave Religion, updated edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).

External links[edit]