Afro-Caribbean Religions: An Introduction to Their Historical, Cultural, and Sacred Traditions

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 62%)
Est. Return Date: 05/02/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 34%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $22.07
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 47%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $22.07   
  • New (3) from $32.00   
  • Used (4) from $22.07   


In Afro-Caribbean Religions, Nathaniel Samuel Murrell provides a comprehensive study that respectfully traces the social, historical, and political contexts of these religions. This accessibly written introduction examines the cultural traditions and transformations of every African-derived religion of the Caribbean, along with its cosmology, beliefs, cultic structures, and ritual practices. Ideal for classroom use, Afro-Caribbean Religions includes a glossary that defines key terms and identifies key figures.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Murrell (philosophy & religion, Univ. of North Carolina, Wilmington; coeditor, Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader) offers this work as a primer, chiefly for the classroom, on those religions of the Caribbean that harken back to African roots. He begins by sketching religious traditions of west and central Africa and the slave trade that brought Africans from these regions to the Caribbean. With this basis, he continues to use geography as an organizing principle, discussing religions of Haiti (Vodoo), Cuba (Santeria, Palo Monte), Trinidad and Tobago (Orisha), Jamaica (Obeah, Rastafari) and even Brazil (Candomble, Umbanda). This final choice is a strange one, given that Brazil is not Caribbean, unlike Surinam or Puerto Rico, which Murrell chose not to include in this volume. Although this is a scholarly work, drawing on numerous resources, Murrell occasionally uses a more familiar, even emotional voice. VERDICT Despite Murrell's description of this as an introductory volume, his work will best serve those who already have some background on the subject because his language can get technical and dense. It will prove invaluable for experienced readers with a deep interest in the subject, whether or not in the classroom.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Lib., Wisconsin Rapids
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439900413
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,227,564
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Nathaniel Samuel Murrell is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the co-editor of Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader (Temple).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

Part I African Connections: Historical Roots of Afro-Caribbean Religions

1 Yoruba, Fon-Ewe, Ashanti, and Kongo Cultural History 13

2 African Cultus and Functionaries 37

Part II Vodou: Haitian Religion

3 Vodou and the Haitians' Struggle 57

4 Serving the Lwa 74

Part III Santeria and Palo Monte: Cuban Religion of the Orisha and Drums

5 Caribbean Santeria 95

6 Energy of the Ashe Community and Cultus 114

7 Palo Monte Mayombe 135

Part IV Creole Religions of the Southern Caribbean

8 Dancing to Orixas' Axe in Candomble 159

9 Umbanda and Its Antecedents 183

10 Orisha Powers: Creole Religion in Trinidad and Tobago 202

Part V Jamaica's Creole Religions: Culture of Resistance and Rhythms

11 Obeah: Magical Art of Resistance 225

12 Myal and Kumina in Jamaica's Past 246

13 Poco, Zion, and Convince 268

14 The Rastafari Chant 286

Conclusion 321

Notes 325

Glossary 383

Selected Bibliography 395

Index 41

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)