A critical analysis of the socio-historical settings of the development of each of the most widely practiced African based spiritual traditions/movements in the Americas. In addition to written texts, we will enter into dialogue with experiential activities such as practitioners, films, and site visits of many different spiritual practices within the City of New York and neighboring cities. We will engage the African based practices of Haitian Vodou, Santeria/Palo Monte, Rastafarianism, Espiritismo, Obeah, Candomble, Umbanda, as well as African religious influences in protestant Christianity. We will explore the ways in which these religious movements have been impacted by North and South American cultural and political conditions, and how they have impacted the cultural and political realities in turn. The transformations made by these religious practices in the diasporic communities in the United States will be an underlying focus of this course.