January 23, 2001
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.— Albert J. Raboteau, Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion at Princeton University, will talk about “African Gods and European Saints: Religious Encounters and the Early Development of the Atlantic World” on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 4 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Amherst College Library and African-American Religion: A Documentary History Project, headquartered at Amherst College.

Albert J. Raboteau is a specialist in American religious history, especially American Catholic history and African-American religious movements. He has written Slave Religion: The “Invisible Institution” in the Antebellum South (1978), A Fire in the Bones: Reflections on African-American Religious History (1995), African-American Religion (1999) and Canaan Land: A Religious History of African Americans (2001). Raboteau was a coordinator of the former Center for the Study of American Religion. With David W. Wills, the Winthrop H. Smith ’16 Professor of American History and American Studies (Religion and Black Studies) at Amherst, Raboteau directs African-American Religion: A Documentary History Project.

Raboteau and Wills founded the project in 1987. The forthcoming work, a comprehensive view of African-American religion from the earliest 15th-century African-European encounters along the African coast to the present in the United States, will be presented in a three-part, multi-volume series that will include documents and commentary. The University of Chicago Press plans to publish the first volumes of the work, provisionally titled African-American History: A Historical Interpretation with Representative Documents, in 2002.

The project Website at http://www.amherst.edu/~aardoc contains working drafts of some of the interpretive essays, sample documents and other helpful resources for anyone interested in a serious study of African-American religion.