Creolization—the coming together of diverse beliefs and practices to form new beliefs and practices-is one of the most significant phenomena in Caribbean religious history. Brought together in the crucible of the sugar plantation, Caribbean peoples drew on the variants of Christianity brought by European colonizers, as well as on African religious and healing traditions and the remnants of Amerindian practices, to fashion new systems of belief.
Creole Religions of the Caribbean offers a comprehensive introduction to the syncretic religions that have developed in the region. From Vodou, Santería, Regla de Palo, the Abakuá Secret Society, and Obeah to Quimbois and Espiritismo, the volume traces the historical-cultural origins of the major Creole religions, as well as the newer traditions such as Pocomania and Rastafarianism.
Chapters devoted to specific traditions trace their history, their pantheons and major rituals, and their current-day expressions in the Caribbean and in the diaspora. The volume also provides a general historical background of the Caribbean region.
Creole Religions of the Caribbean is the first text to provide a study of the Creole religions of the Caribbean and will be an indispensable guide to the development of these rich religious traditions and practices.
With 23 black and white illustrations
“With vitality and dexterity the authors paint a nuanced portrait of Caribbean spirits and persons, of issues holy and secular, and of the hybrid character of this region's religions. Best of all, they honor the shifting sentiments and unravel the multiple meanings behind numerous spiritual ideas and practices. Teachers and students alike will admire their brilliantly researched, sensitively written, and richly textured tome. It represents the high-water mark of all introductory books on religion, race, and ethnicity.”
-Darren J. N. Middleton,Texas Christian University