Canaan Land: A Religious History Of African Americans

by Albert J. Raboteau. Oxford University Press, 1999.
Large canaan land

Albert Raboteau is a professor at Princeton University. His research and teaching focus on African American and American Roman Catholic religious experience. He practices the Eastern Orthodox faith. This modest length volume is an insightful introduction to African American religious history. The facts and figures are all there. Additionally, Raboteau brings a narrative sense to conveying history. Stories abound and they are well told. The Canaan theme unpacks the slave experience, emancipation and inevitable disappointment related to the limits of freedom. A chronology at the end is a handy reference tool. Readers will learn about African tribal customs as well as development of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Attention is also paid to the Nation of Islam. Plus, you will learn that there are over two million African American Roman Catholics in the United States. If your congregation is looking for a study book about the richness of the African American religious tradition, you will be hard pressed to find a book more readable or complete than this volume.

Reviewed by Tim Shapiro

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