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Crossing the Water and Keeping the Faith

Haitian Religion in Miami

Terry Rey, Alex Stepick

Publication Year: 2013

Published by: NYU Press


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pp. 1-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

I welcome this book on the religious faith of Miami’s Haitian community, which features Little Haiti’s Notre Dame d’Haiti Mission, where I served for eighteen years as a parish priest. The authors are not theologians but social scientists, but their research and their insights derived from that research helps illustrate ...

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pp. xiii-xiv

This book was a long time in the making and its realization relied heavily on the generous support and insights of many people in many places. Our gratitude is thus as far reaching as it is sincere, though most of it is grounded in, and springs from, Miami and Haiti. ...

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Introduction: Haitian Religion in Miami

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pp. 1-32

Spiritually, poetically, and politically it is altogether fitting that the heart of Haitian life in Miami beats precisely at the intersection of streets named for the great Haitian poet Félix Morisseau-Leroy and the great African American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Félix Morisseau-Leroy was the first major writer to compose plays and poetry in Haitian Creole, ...

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1. The Haitian Catholic Church in Miami: When the Saints Go Sailing In

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pp. 33-58

A colorful mural adorns the northern interior wall of Miami’s Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church (see fig. 1.1). It depicts bright skies over the shimmering blue waters and the high green mountains of the Caribbean nation of Haiti. Soaring through the skies is an Air d’Haïti passenger jet, ...

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2. Immigrant Faith and Class Distinctions: Haitian Catholics beyond Little Haiti

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pp. 59-82

Many Haitians in recent years have experienced migration to and settlement in Miami in quite different ways than the throngs of botpipel who came in the late 1970s and early 1980s and in ensuing intermittent waves spurned by political upheaval and poverty in the homeland. ...

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3. Feting Haiti’s Patron Saint in Little Haiti: The Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

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pp. 83-112

Key features of the Haitian religious collusio, such as service to invisible spirits and/or saints, the quest for healing from maladies and protection from evil forces, and pneumacentric spiritual embodiment, are nowhere more richly on display than during Roman Catholic feast-day celebrations. ...

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4. Vodou in the Magic City: Serving the Spirits across the Sea

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pp. 113-150

Woody Marc Edouard followed the news from Port-au-Prince with keen interest as jubilant crowds in Miami greeted Cuban pilot Carlos Cancio Porcel as a hero. In December 1992, Cancio executed “a very complex maneuver, a year in the planning,” drugging a co-pilot and commandeering a domestic flight out of Havana ...

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5. Storefront and Transnational Protestantism in Little Haiti: Harvesting the Gospel in the Haitian Church of the Open Door

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pp. 151-188

By the mid-1980s, already 40 percent of all Haitian immigrants in Miami were Protestant, sparking an impressive proliferation of storefront churches in Little Haiti. It is likely that today the majority of people in the Haitian diaspora in general are Protestant. ...

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Conclusion: Beasts, Gods, and Transnational Transubstantiation

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pp. 189-202

It is the summer of 1994, somewhere at sea between Haiti and Cuba, in the Windward Passage. A young officer of the U.S. Coast Guard stands atop the bridge of his vessel, the USCGC Hamilton, and reflects aloud on the scene unfolding on the deck below. ...


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pp. 203-226


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pp. 227-236


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pp. 237-252


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pp. 253-265

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About the Authors

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pp. 266-281

Formerly Professeur de Sociologie des Religions at Université d’État d’Haïti and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Florida International University, Terry Rey is Associate Professor of Religion at Temple University. ...

E-ISBN-13: 9781479802678
E-ISBN-10: 1479802670
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814777084
Print-ISBN-10: 0814777082

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2013