She revealed the news on Twitter in January, when she began posting tributes to his life that she said would continue until he passes.
As of late May, the thread was still ongoing.
The post received thousands of interactions, with additional tributes pouring in from Raboteau’s former students and current admirers.
Raboteau began teaching at Princeton University in 1982, shortly after the publishing of his dissertation at Yale—which eventually became his seminal text, “Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South”.
Serving as a professor of religion, Raboteau played a major role in the Black Studies movement, an outworking of the Black Power Movement that brought the research of African-Americans into higher education.
He had considered becoming a community organizer before his studies led him to Xavier University of Louisiana in 1968, where he taught Theology for a year before pursuing a PhD at Yale. He would teach at the latter until 1983, when he joined the Princeton faculty.
Focusing on African-American religious history, he served as chair of Princeton’s religion department from 1987-1992 and dean of the graduate school for the 1992-93 school year.
Raboteau is also known for his work on Catholic issues specifically—having been raised Catholic himself, practicing the religion into adulthood, and participating in the Black Catholic Movement during his early career.
In 2012, he became the first recipient of the University of Heidelberg’s James W.C. Pennington Award. The Journal of Africana Religions established the Albert J. Raboteau Prize the next year, to honor one book each year as a standout in the field.
Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, in priesthood formation with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).