Designators of diasporic travel used within African American religion are seldom interrogated for the manner in which they rely on and reify sacred/profane thinking. These designators also attempt to recuperate a past identity through reliance on self-evident claims like “home,” “memory,” “experience,” and so on. We turn to author James Baldwin and rapper Kanye West to emphasize the manner in which such travel and movement is multiplicative, never an endeavor limited to either sacred or profane. In an effort to take stock of the “both/and” of diasporic travel, we offer the theoretical instrument of aporetic flow, understood as the creative transmutation of impossibility into opportunity, where nonpassages enable movement. We seek to demonstrate how the analytic might contribute to theory and method in the study of African American religion specifically, and add to nascent critical discussions across the study of religion more generally that are beginning to situate “religion” as identity.


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pp. 28-53
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