The Development of the Gullah Church
Using Charles Long’s hermenutic tool “signification” (a term derived from African American culture), this paper explores the development of the Gullah church during the era of slavery. Slaves on the South Carolina Sea Islands expressed autonomy despite their oppression by organizing religious communities that produced a new orientation in the ultimate sense, as, through religion, Gullah people made sense of their new place in the world. The Gullah church is an independent regional expression of Christianity that allowed its followers to define themselves through religious practices as they created an independent slave culture. The stories, songs and rituals produced exemplified the vitality of this expression of religion. Functioning first in the Invisible Church and later within the Praise House the church served as a community center, adding to the empowerment of the group, and providing a means of socio-religious agency that served as a foundation for continued forms of resistance.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:gullah religious expression praise house invisible church shout
Date of Publication:01/01/2006