Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Diaspora is a term used to describe communities of people, often taken away from their homelands by force, who now live away from their country and culture of origin. Since the 1950s, the term has been used to describe the worldwide presence of Africans. As they moved—or were moved—to other countries, Africans brought with them their religious views and practices. This entry briefly describes the history of the concept, looks in more detail at the African diaspora, and discusses its impact on religion. Diaspora derives from the Greek verb speiro (to sow) and the preposition dia (over) and was first applied by ancient Greeks to signify expansion, migration, and settler colonization. Earlier conceptions of diaspora have changed to acquire new definitions and meanings, partly representing a collective trauma, forced exile with myths of home and return. The biblical exile of the Jews represents one classical notion of diaspora. In African ...