Creole Religions of the Caribbean: An Introduction from Vodou and Santeria to Obeah and Espiritismo, Second Edition / Edition 2

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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, Santeria, Regla de Palo, the Abakua 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. This second edition updates the scholarship on the religions themselves and also expands the regional considerations of the Diaspora to the U. S. Latino community who are influenced by Creole spiritual practices. Fernandez Olmos and Paravisini–Gebert also take into account the increased significance of material culture—art, music, literature—and healing practices influenced by Creole religions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This text successfully dispels the misrepresentations and negative stereotypes societies throughout history have placed on these religions. The authors provide a great deal of research and analysis that is sure to aid both scholars and enthusiasts."-Journal of Folklore Research

“Fernández Olmos and Paravisini-Gebert write with evident expertise, keen to uphold our understandings of how the major Creole spiritualities—everything from Vodou to Rastafari—have always dynamically adapted to change to ensure their survival and flourishing. This second edition is, in short, an extraordinarily rich work for scholars and students alike; it is certain to become the field’s standard text.”-Darren J. N. Middleton,Texas Christian University

“Brings to life the living and lively religious traditions of Caribbean peoples. This new edition offers to scholars and students of Caribbean religions and cultures an illuminating introduction to religious continuity, change, and creativity in the Caribbean region in the past 500 years, especially among the Afro-Caribbean population.” -Ennis B. Edmonds,Kenyon College

"Creole Religions of the Caribbean is a very effective and sympathetic study of the Caribbean religions, and it provides this story in a more accessible way than other publications."- Equinox

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814762288
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 7/11/2011
  • Series: Religion, Race, and Ethnicity Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 324
  • Sales rank: 699,505
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Margarite Fernández Olmos is a professor of Spanish and Latin American literatures at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She is the author/coeditor of many books, including The Latino Reader: An American Literary Tradition from 1542 to the Present.

Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert is a Professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies on the Randolph Distinguished Professor Chair and Director of the Environmental Studies Program at Vassar College. She is the author of a number of books and is coeditor with Fernández Olmos of Healing Cultures: Art and Religion as Curative Practices in the Caribbean and its Diaspora.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface to the First Edition ix

Preface to the Second Edition xi

Foreword Joseph M. Murphy Georgetown University xiii

Introduction 1

1 Historical Background 20

2 The Orisha Tradition in Cuba: Santeria/Regla de Ocha 33

3 The Afro-Cuban Religious Traditions of Regla de Palo and the Abakua Secret Society 88

4 Haitian Vodou 116

5 Obeah, Myal, and Quimbois 155

6 Rastafarianism 183

7 Espiritismo: Creole Spiritism in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the United States 203

Glossary 251

Notes 259

Works Cited 279

Index 295

About the Authors 309

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