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The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions

Volume 1: A-L; Volume 2: M-Z

Patrick Taylor

Publication Year: 2012

The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions is the definitive reference for Caribbean religious phenomena from a Caribbean perspective. Generously illustrated, this landmark project combines the breadth of a comparative approach to religion with the depth of understanding of Caribbean spirituality as an ever-changing and varied historical phenomenon. Organized alphabetically, entries examine how Caribbean religious experiences have been shaped by and have responded to the processes of colonialism and the challenges of the postcolonial world. _x000B__x000B_Systematically organized by theme and area, the encyclopedia considers religious traditions such as Vodou, Rastafari, Sunni Islam, Sanatan Dharma, Judaism, and the Roman Catholic and Seventh-day Adventist churches. Detailed subentries present topics such as religious rituals, beliefs, practices, specific historical developments, geographical differences, and gender roles within major traditions. Also included are entries that address the religious dimensions of geographical territories that make up the Caribbean. _x000B__x000B_Representing the culmination of more than a decade of work by the associates of the Caribbean Religions Project, The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions will foster a greater understanding of the role of religion in Caribbean life and society, in the Caribbean diaspora, and in wider national and transnational spaces.

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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p. 1-1

Volume 1 A-L

Title Page, Map, Copyright

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pp. 3-5


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pp. v-vi

Editorial Board and Personnel, Dedication

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pp. vii-x

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pp. xi-xii

The editors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Ford Foundation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. These two organizations were the principal sponsors of the Caribbean Religions Project and made it possible for us to host workshops and conferences, carry out fieldwork, ...

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pp. xiii-xvi

From the earliest days of European colonization, the Caribbean has remained an area of religious concern in the European imagination. Caribbean indigenous peoples were portrayed as being either barbaric beasts fit for enslavement or noble savages in need of redemption. ...

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pp. 1-98

Between 1550 and 1850 an extensive number of people who had been taken by force from the Calabar region in southeast Nigeria near Cameroon were brought to Cuba as slaves. In this predominantly swampy area, the Efik, Andoni, Kwa, Ibibio, Ekoi, Ekakana, Ikwe, Bonny, Ijaro, Bros, Ke, and Onmike ethnic groups coexisted during the centuries of African slave trading. ...

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pp. 99-129

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is a multi-island country. Its 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 rock islands stretch from the southeast of Florida in the United States to the north of Hispaniola, forming an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. Covering an area of 5,353 square miles and with an estimated population of some 305,655 in 2007 ...

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pp. 130-223

Understanding Caribbean theology can be facilitated by a comparative study of the Latin American theology of liberation. Liberation theology, as formulated by its Latin American proponents, has its genesis in certain historical circumstances similar to those experienced by the peoples of the Caribbean territories. ...

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pp. 224-236

The people of volcanic, rainforest-draped Dominica nurture a traditional blend of conservative Roman Catholicism (see Roman Catholic Church—Anglophone Caribbean) and a complex set of secular beliefs about nature and human beings’ proper role as arbiters and residents among its varied mysteries. ...

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pp. 237-284

The Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC) originated and developed in the matrix of noticeable social ferment and corresponding contextual theological reflection in the Caribbean in the 1960s (see Caribbean Theology). This was an era in which Third World theological reflection profoundly influenced the ecumenical movement. ...

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pp. 285-297

The “firepass” or firewalking ceremony is important because it represents perhaps the most prominent religious ritual of the “Madrassis,” indentured immigrants who came to the Caribbean from South India. It came to be seen as an integral aspect of Madrassi identity in colonial Trinidad. ...

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pp. 298-312

The name “Gangá” included different West African ethnic groups who were enslaved in Cuba. Fernando Ortiz (1975, 58) lamented the impossibility of locating the exact origins of the Gangá. Henry Dumont (1915, 161) placed them in the area near the Las Palmas cape on the West African coast and indicated that there were two types, ...

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pp. 313-368

On December 5, 1492, Christopher Columbus planted a cross on the shores of the island of Haiti, which he named Hispanola (Hispaniola). It was only three centuries later, on January 1, 1804, when a portion of the country became independent, that it regained the name given by the Taíno: Haiti. ...

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pp. 369-419

The religions of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean can be loosely grouped in terms of the three basic culture areas that characterized the region when Europeans arrived: the Taíno, based on large-scale organized settlements to be found mainly in the Greater Antilles ...

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pp. 420-467

Jamaica, the largest of the Anglophone Caribbean islands, is distinguished by its rich African religious traditions (see African Caribbean Religions), many of which have come into explosive contact with English- and American-based Protestant traditions (see Protestantism). ...

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pp. 468-497

The Kabir Panth (School of Kabir) comprises all those who honor Kabir and his teachings, whether or not they belong to a formal organization. As such, the Kabir Panth continues to enjoy widespread recognition and practice in northern India, particularly in the regions between western Bihar and the Punjab. ...

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pp. 498-542

With implications for charting the region’s literary discourse on religion, Robert J. Stewart correctly observes that “the history of religion in the Caribbean is similar in many respects to the history of religions in all colonial systems in that it is a story of the imposition of, the resistance to, the competing claims of power” (1999, 14). ...

Volume 2 M-Z

Title Page, Map, Copyright

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pp. 563-569

Editorial Board and Personnel

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pp. 570-565

Contents, Editorial Board and Personnel

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pp. v-x

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pp. 543-624

Mahikari is true light. True light is the perpetual, powerful emanation of God in the universe. It is a purifying light that cleanses souls and any material form to which it is directed by kami-kumite, the practitioners of Mahikari. Mahikari has its roots in the early modernization of Japan as a millenarian ...

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pp. 625-641

Some Yoruba-speaking peoples are known as Nago. In French historical sources, this word was spelt “Nagot,” the French having sourced the term from Dahomey, which became one of the main French slave-trading regions in West Africa. The term then became used in transatlantic locations, ...

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pp. 642-655

Obeah is the term that Africans of Tobago employ to identify the power that some individuals are alleged to have over the natural laws. This power is used to command, through the means of certain formulas, such desired effects as the healing of diseases or the bringing of luck and good fortune ...

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pp. 656-737

For a better understanding of African religious influence in the culture of Cuba, it is necessary to consider the religious contribution of enslaved Africans from the areas of present-day Congo and Angola (see African Caribbean Religions; Kumina). ...

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pp. 738-741

In Martinique and Guadeloupe, Quimbois is a popular religious manifestation in which sets of magical, spiritual, and Roman Catholic practices are interwoven. Any discussion of this phenomenon calls for the examination of a certain number of sociohistorical elements. ...

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pp. 742-885

The Ewe-Fon people of western Africa have been denoted by a multiplicity of terms in the West Indies and the Americas.1 Some of these terms are Rada, Gege, Allada, Fon (Fond), Popo, Nago, Dahoman, and Slave Coast. Other terms applied to this group are more specific and are derived from popular Slave Coast place-names or subgroup names, ...

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pp. 886-1013

In 1623 a group of English colonists led by Thomas Warner arrived in what is now known as Saint Kitts or Saint Christopher and were joined in 1625 by a French group led by Pierre Belain, Sieur D’Esnambuc; their agenda—to exploit the natural fertility of the island and become wealthy. ...

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pp. 1014-1050

For the Classic Taínos, every living thing in creation, not just people and animals, but also trees, rivers, and rocks, had a goeiz, a soul, that sought to live in reciprocal balance with all the other beings. When a living being of this world died, it became an opia (or hupia), ...

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pp. 1051-1057

The United Bible Societies (UBS) dates its official origin to May 9, 1946, in England and is the major Bible translation agency in the world. It now operates not only throughout the Caribbean but in more than two hundred countries and territories worldwide. ...

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pp. 1058-1106

It is estimated that between 1500 and 1900, nearly 10 million Africans were transported from Africa to America and reduced to slavery (Pétré-Grenouilleau 1997, 100). Like Candomblé in Brazil, Santería in Cuba, and Orisha Tradition (Shango) in Trinidad, ...

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pp. 1107-1118

A warner is a religious figure who appears under various names in the life and culture of many Anglophone Caribbean countries. Also known as a “prophet,” “seer,” or “wayside preacher,” this person surfaces at times of social crisis or tension. Drawing heavily on Caribbean Baptist traditions, warners arm themselves with a bell and Bible ...

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 1119-1128

Index to Volumes 1-2

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pp. 1129-1144

Production Notes

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p. 1177-1177

Image Plates

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pp. 1178-1185

E-ISBN-13: 9780252094330
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252037238

Page Count: 640
Publication Year: 2012