This thesis seeks to prove that the established reputation of essentialism is undeserved, and argues that Toni Morrison s presentation of religion and spirituality in Beloved (1987) and Paradise (1998) contains both implicit and explicit essentialist perspectives. The overall claim is that Morrison s general method of withholding information in her narratives, and her corresponding expectations of readers ability to fill the missing gaps, can be interpreted as implicit essentialism when it concerns spiritual practices and beliefs. In both novels, the religious presentation surrounding the ancestral presence – Baby Suggs, holy and Consolata Sosa – is analyzed as a depiction of essentialist attitudes towards the black experience or the black community. It follows that Morrison holds religion and spirituality as a core or an essence to the black experience, one that has endured the hardship of temporal and spatial changes, and that remains a part of black identity even today. In addition to demonstrating how both novels could be seen as portraying this belief implicitly, this study also shows that Richard Misner in Paradise – the Afrocentric Reverend who functions as an ideal reader – in fact represents an explicit essentialist attitude. Misner holds a remarkably significant position in Paradise, and his function in the narrative is the chief realization of this study. Along with other substantial tendencies in Morrison s essentialist perspectives, his character has been paramount to the re-evaluation of essentialism in this thesis.